Third consecutive SAASTA Science debate victory By Songwe Chiwila Grade 11 The debater walks on the stage and advances to the podium. She places her notes down,...
St Michael’s School
Third consecutive SAASTA Science debate victory
By Songwe Chiwila
The debater walks on the stage and advances to the podium. She places her notes down, scans the audience and waits for an indication to start. However, unlike most debates, she begins to argue her point on biotechnology. She elaborates on how it can add value to our current energy crisis. What kind of debating is this you ask? SASTAA debating.
Five of our girls had the opportunity to take part this year at the SASTAA Provincial Debate held on Saturday 16 May. The road to the competition was filled with tons of research, demanding nights and the broadening of our knowledge.
Prior to the team’s preparation for the debate, they attended the SASTAA workshop which was held at the Boyden Observatory. There they were walked through the procedures that would take place on the day of the competition and also did some role-play to get an idea of how to deliver their speeches.
The weeks that followed involved the team doing as much research as Newton must have done concerning his laws! The team assembled during week nights for two weeks to distribute information and also carry out the task of completing their opening statement. As soon as the learning work was done and the opening statement polished up, the girls were finally prepared for the competition.
Before the actual debating commenced, a welcoming was done as well as an acknowledgement said to SASTAA for giving learners the opportunity to speak about science confidently . After this, a challenge was brought forth to create a war cry that would be said throughout the day. Eunice won the challenge, and in the end we all found ourselves roaring the words of our mighty war cry throughout the duration of the day.
The debate began with the delivery of an opening statement from each team. We were the sixth group to go up and were surely remembered by our striking introduction, which involved lights randomly being turned off and a candle being lit (to emphasise the urgency of an energy solution). This was immediately followed by three speakers from each team doing the response speeches. Once this was done, the schools mingled and moved about to gather into the mini-imibizos. Here various statements were discussed and the summary thereof was posted on to social media for the other debaters to read.
When the imbizos were done it was lunch time (Yes, scientists eat too!) as well as time spent on finishing up the teams’ closing statements. When lunch was done and the teams’ bellies filled, our last speaker was geared up to give the closing statement. She delivered a great summary and emphasised the team’s strongest points and also illustrated agreements made with the other teams.
When the last speech was given, the teams were told to leave the hall while the judges made their decision. Our team waited outside in anticipation, biting their nails and quivering in their boots. Decisions were made and results were given.
The SMS debaters were crowned the winners and smiled from ear to ear as they held their first place trophy. Our 2015 team has continued to fly the SMS flag high and have allowed for our school to come first for the third consecutive year!
A big thanks goes out to all the teachers who were involved namely Mrs.Marais and Mrs van der Berg, the matrics who participated the previous year as well as God for seeing them through. Now all they have left to do, is prepare for the Nationals Competition that will be held in September!