Awardees: Matt Summers (HLS), Tessa Holtzman (External), Courtney Foster (External), and Maya Benzinger (External)
Summary:Debate Spaces uses a unique, scalable, debate-centered curriculum to equip middle school students to be civically-engaged, active, and connected members of their local communities. We emphasize three critical components in our curriculum: quick critical thinking that relies on hard evidence and research, speaking persuasively and civilly, and working collaboratively with partners to be able to argue both sides of any issue or subject. Through programming run and taught by world-class competitive college students and alumni, Debate Spaces offers middle school students extracurricular programming during the school year that is high-quality, low-cost, and accessible to students from disparate communities and diverse backgrounds. Debate Spaces believes that if young students are taught how to critically examine and effectively communicate about issues important to them in a diverse and collaborative environment, they will be more civically engaged citizens throughout their lives.