On June 30th and July 1st, students from Zlatarski International School attended the finals of the European Youth Debating Competition in Amsterdam. Veselina G., Elizaveta P., Emil M., Irina B., Magdalena G., and Mihaela I. from grade 9 debated on the topic “People, Planet, Profit in the Digital age: With or without petrochemistry and plastics?”. The students presented short speeches, followed by answering questions from other participants. This competition was an excellent opportunity for our students to exercise their public speaking skills and to interact with students from other international schools. In addition, our students had the chance to meet managers, experts and renowned representatives of the industrial sector, media and science. Zlatarski International School’s students were the only Bulgarian team to take part in the competition.
About the European Youth Debating Competition
The tournament in Amsterdam is a part of a larger initiative which aims to discuss topical issues related to the environment and the management of the available energy resources, as well as developing leadership skills in the young participants. The event in Amsterdam is one of the seven national qualifications whose winners will meet once more at the European tournament in September in Berlin. The question which the students debated on was “People, Planet, Profit in the Digital age: With or without petrochemistry and plastics?”
The debate simulated a parliamentary session at which the speakers gave speeches “for” or “against” within 1-minute slots. The students could present more than one speech, but only once it was their turn again. Their speeches were followed and marked by an expert jury which consisted of highly ranked employees of international companies and organisations from the energy industry like Shell, European Petrochemical Association and Plastics Europe. The leading experts who opened the debate with speeches for and against a future with plastics were Mark Williams (SABIC) and Freek van Eijk (Acceleratio BV).
Zlatarski International School’s participation
Zlatarski International School’s students impressed the jury and the organising committee with their participation as so-called free speakers – speakers who ask questions, support or disagree with what is being said by the main speakers. Our students made statements on the problems of communications, medicine and packaging in the digital era by raising the question of the sustainability of the use of plastics for the development of these areas, as well as what alternative energy sources could be utilised.
The annual session of the Forum for Europe at Zlatarski International School
At the end of May, the 12th session of the Forum for Europe at Zlatarski International School – simulation of the European Parliament was held, where students from grades 8-11 discussed current issues concerning the European Union. Like every year, the topics of the discussion addressed economics, social politics, internal and international concerns of the EU, as well as ones related to the environment. The yearly organization and attendance at the Forum for Europe urges the students to not only acquaint themselves with the current political and economic state in Europe, but it also teaches them teamwork, dealing with arguments, debating skills, critical thinking and solving serious issues.