St. Joseph’s CBS and
St Andrews Booterstown
Debating Science Issues
As Transition Year students, we have been encouraged to take part in anything and everything, so when we heard of DSI (Debating Science Issues) we immediately showed interest.
Alex Fay was given the role of team captain after our team was assembled, that meant he had to handle the opening and closing speech of every debate. Our vice-captain, Manolito Aviles, was tasked with the second opening speech, while the rest of our team (Peter Redmond, Josh Nichol, Stephen Moran and James Morgan, along with the captain and the vice-captain) researched the topics.
Our first debate was against St. Andrews, a prestigious school that had previously reached the final and was widely known. There was pressure on them to deliver a win and go on further in the competition. Before the debate (which was on health and self-testing) we had a lesson in public speaking from the Legend that is Frank, the caretaker. Afterwards, we were feeling good about speaking! And as David conquered Goliath, so did we conquer St. Andrews!
The next round took place in the Science Gallery in Trinity College, and we were up against Avondale from Wicklow. The topic was about stem-cell research and again, before the debate we had a good lesson from Frank on public speaking and the delivery of our speeches. A lot of people from our year had come to support us as we argued! The opposition was tough; their captain spoke well and confidently! But at the end of the day, the judges chose us as victors. They commented on our use of a two pronged attack and our structure, but advised us to use the science behind our speeches wisely!
We now face Westland Row in the Leinster final, and as I write this article I also prepare my speeches for the final with the hope that we will do our school proud.
There will be no shame in defeat and no pressure in victory, we will do our best and we will keep our heads cool.