BASIS Scottsdale one of 16 teams remaining in the International Public Policy Forum

Debate teams from around the world entered the 2017-18 International Public Policy Forum competition, but only 16 remain — including BASIS Scottsdale and Hamilton High School from Chandler.

The IPPF, which the Brewer Foundation and New York University sponsored, is a competition that gives high school students from around the world the opportunity to engage in written and oral debates on issues of public policy.

By advancing, the students remain eligible to win a $10,000 grand prize, according to a press release.

“These students have demonstrated a command of a very complex and timely topic,” William A. Brewer III, partner at Brewer, Attorneys & Counselors and a founder of the IPPF, said in a prepared statement.

“The remaining 16 teams are now competing for the chance to debate this issue on a global stage in New York City.”

If the school advances past this round, the team will win an all-expenses-paid trip to the IPPF Finals in New York City Saturday, April 21.

This year, teams submitted qualifying round essays affirming or negating the IPPF topic, “Resolved: International climate accords for greenhouse gas emissions should adopt binding enforcement mechanisms.”

A committee reviewed those essays, determining the top 64 teams based on the overall quality of each 2,800-word essay, a release states.

In November, the top 64 teams began a single-elimination, written debate competition. Each team was assigned a position (affirmative or negative) and then volleyed papers back and forth with another team via email for the next six weeks.

A panel of judges reviewed the essays in the order they were presented and selected the winning teams. In the “Round of 64,” BASIS Scottsdale advanced over Hathaway Brown School from Shaker Heights, Ohio and Hamilton High School advanced over North Allegheny Senior High School from Wexford, Pennsylvania.

In the “Top 32” round, BASIS Scottsdale advanced over Mountain House High School from Mountain House, California, and Hamilton High School advanced over Achievement First Brooklyn High School from Brooklyn, New York.

The “Sweet 16” round is now underway. BASIS Scottsdale is competing against Concordia International School Shanghai from Shanghai, China while Hamilton High School is competing against William Mason High School from Mason, Ohio.

The top 16 teams represent schools from 10 U.S. states and China, Slovakia and Taiwan.

On Wednesday, March 21, the “Elite 8” teams will be announced. Those teams will travel to New York City on an all-expenses-paid trip to the IPPF Finals in New York City. The Finals will be at the Harold Pratt House.

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