Athen's Debate Summer Camp

WHEN

The Speech and Debate Summer Camp will be held Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. during the following time periods:

  • Session A: June 15th to June 19th 
  • Session B: July 6th to July 10th
  • Session C: July 13th to July 17th 

Register for Elementary Speech & Debate Camp 
Register for Middle School Speech & Debate Camp  

 

COST

$700 each session 

WHERE

Chinese American International School
150 Oak Campus
San Francisco, CA

 

ELEMENTARY SPEECH AND DEBATE CAMP

Topics Students Will Learn About: public speaking, oratory, how to make sound arguments, logic and critical thinking, technical writing, “claim, data, warrant, impact”, intro to lincoln-douglas debate, spar debate, parliamentary debate, congressional debate, impromptu speaking, the constitution, verbal static, rhetoric, crystallization, how to use analogies in debate, emotive speaking, philosophy, introduction to middle school debate and how to prepare for it, etc. 

In-Class Activities, Games, and Exercises Include: SPAR debates, “Constitutional Convention”, “Debate Baseball, emotive speaking drills, impromptu speaking, mini-debate tournaments in class, crystallization drills, “Taboo Verbal Static”, philosophical discussions (for example: Is it okay to ever tell a lie? Is it your duty to give to charity?), “How Loud Can You Get”, “Running for President”, “Problem-Solution” speeches, “Tongue Twister Fun Speaking Exercise”, “Storytelling Games”,  “Making a Commercial”

 

ABOUT ATHENS DEBATE:
The debate program at CAIS is managed through “Athens Debate” - a program led by Sachin Jain. Sachin has 17 years of experience competing and coaching Speech and Debate. His students have achieved great success at the local, state, and national levels. He completed his undergraduate degree Summa Cum Laude from UC Berkeley and his Masters of Public Policy from the top ranked policy school in the country, UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy. Sachin has taught undergraduate students at UC Berkeley, debate at Stanford University, and at various debate academies in the Bay Area. Most notably, Sachin uses his experience in Speech and Debate to find success in the real world. He has worked in political and policy capacities at the United States Senate, White House, San Jose City Council, the Governor of California, President of the UC System, and the Mayor of San Jose. ​He enjoys teaching students how to make debate come alive for them and be applicable to their future pursuits. Debate changed his life and he hopes to do the same for all of his students. For a full description of the program you can visit athensdebate.com. 

 

WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR THIS SUMMER CAMP?
This class is for 4th and 5th grade students who want to dip their toes into the exciting world of speech and debate. 

 

WHY DEBATE?
Debate is a valuable activity for students of all skill levels. Debate teaches useful skills for other academic pursuits and life more generally. Debaters build confidence speaking in public and expressing their ideas eloquently. That comfort speaking in front of others is useful in so many areas of life, from interviews to school presentations to discussions in college seminars. In having to master an issue from both sides, debaters learn to flex their analytical muscles, gain tolerance for competing viewpoints, and understand the intricacies of a world filled with nuance. According to Arne Duncan, former Secretary of Education, debate is “uniquely suited” to build skills required of a modern citizen, including critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity. These skills help students express their thoughts better in their academic work, in the community, at your dinner table, college, and their future careers. The College Board recently revamped the SAT test to focus more on exactly the sorts of skills debate teaches. As the New York Times explained, students taking the new version of the test must write “a critical response to a specific argument” based on analysis rather than personal experience. Debaters are used to responding to unfamiliar arguments in time-sensitive situations; thinking critically about a written passage on the SAT is not so different from responding to an opponent’s argument in a debate round. Studies have found that debaters outscore non-debaters on every section of the ACT. Studies across the country have found that high school debate improves reading ability, grades, school attendance, self-esteem, and interest in school. For those who commit to speech and debate, it offers a lifetime of benefits. Forbes published an article titled “How to Find the Millennials Who Will Lead Your Company,” suggesting that the leaders of the future are ex-debaters. As that article notes, debate teaches “how to persuade, how to present clearly, and how to connect with an audience,” exactly the skills businesses look for in their young employees. You’ll find ex-debaters in every area of public life, from Bruce Springsteen to Oprah Winfrey to Nelson Mandela. 60% of Congressional representatives participated in debate, as well as at least a third of the Supreme Court. There are ex-debaters excelling in business, law, politics, academia, and many other fields. 

Perhaps most important of all, debate is fun! You may have to cajole your son or daughter to go to their test prep class or do their homework, but debate makes learning a game; students build their critical thinking and speaking skills without it ever feeling like work. Debate gives students a rare opportunity to take ownership over their own intellectual development. And throughout the years of practice and competition, debate builds lifelong friendships and community, teaching teamwork as well.


Register for Elementary Speech & Debate Camp

 

MIDDLE SCHOOL SPEECH & DEBATE CAMP

Topics Students Will Learn About: public speaking, formal debate, spontaneous debate, impromptu speaking (learn how to give a five minute speech on any topic with only two minutes or preparation), oratory, argumentation, technical writing, research, evidence gathering, persuasion techniques, constitutional principles (all 27 amendments), logic, political philosophy (e.g. John Locke’s social contract theory), morality (e.g. Immanuel Kant’s categorical imperative) and ethics (e.g. Aristotle),  theories of justice (e.g. John Rawls’ veil of ignorance theory), current events, democratic theory (e.g. Robert Dah’s five criteria for a democracy), issue selection in debate, writing succinctly, how to deliver closing arguments, cross-examination strategies, case preparation, blocks preparation, etc. 

In-Class Activities, Include: lincoln-douglas debates, congressional debate rounds, SPAR debates, impromptu speaking, case writing, blocks preparation, debate drills practice e.g. verbal static drills, crystallization drills, rebuttal redo drills, philosophical discussions, and occasional games like: “Debate Baseball”, “Presidential Debates”; “Do I Have a Right?”.  

Students will learn a lot of challenging material, but they will be shocked to see how fun it is!

WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR THIS SUMMER CAMP?
All 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. 

 

WHY LEARN DEBATE?
Debate is a valuable activity for students of all skill levels. Debate teaches useful skills for other academic pursuits and life more generally. Debaters build confidence speaking in public and expressing their ideas eloquently. That comfort speaking in front of others is useful in so many areas of life, from interviews to school presentations to discussions in college seminars. In having to master an issue from both sides, debaters learn to flex their analytical muscles, gain tolerance for competing viewpoints, and understand the intricacies of a world filled with nuance. According to Arne Duncan, former Secretary of Education, debate is “uniquely suited” to build skills required of a modern citizen, including critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity. These skills help students express their thoughts better in their academic work, in the community, at your dinner table, college, and their future careers. The College Board recently revamped the SAT test to focus more on exactly the sorts of skills debate teaches. As the New York Times explained, students taking the new version of the test must write “a critical response to a specific argument” based on analysis rather than personal experience. Debaters are used to responding to unfamiliar arguments in time-sensitive situations; thinking critically about a written passage on the SAT is not so different from responding to an opponent’s argument in a debate round. Studies have found that debaters outscore non-debaters on every section of the ACT. Studies across the country have found that high school debate improves reading ability, grades, school attendance, self-esteem, and interest in school. For those who commit to speech and debate, it offers a lifetime of benefits. Forbes published an article titled “How to Find the Millennials Who Will Lead Your Company,” suggesting that the leaders of the future are ex-debaters. As that article notes, debate teaches “how to persuade, how to present clearly, and how to connect with an audience,” exactly the skills businesses look for in their young employees. You’ll find ex-debaters in every area of public life, from Bruce Springsteen to Oprah Winfrey to Nelson Mandela. 60% of Congressional representatives participated in debate, as well as at least a third of the Supreme Court. There are ex-debaters excelling in business, law, politics, academia, and many other fields. 

Perhaps most important of all, debate is fun! You may have to cajole your son or daughter to go to their test prep class or do their homework, but debate makes learning a game; students build their critical thinking and speaking skills without it ever feeling like work. Debate gives students a rare opportunity to take ownership over their own intellectual development. And throughout the years of practice and competition, debate builds lifelong friendships and community, teaching teamwork as well.

 

Register for Middle School Speech & Debate Camp