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MSA's Debate Team

MN Math and Science Academy offers Debate as an extracurricular activity in the fall.

Contact:  Head Coach Krista Boston, J.D.* 

Number: 612-598-3916 (Texts are welcome and preferred)


Interested students should email Coach Boston to be added to the Google Classroom if they are interested in Debate.

Co-Captains for the 2017/2018 Season:  Julia Du and Jules Mockovak



Coaches form and waiver.pdf

2017/2018 School Year Debate Tournament Schedule

Please save the following dates:

  • Saturday, September 30 Eastview HS (Topic 1)
  • Saturday, October 7 Rochester Mayo HS (Topic 1)
  • Saturday, October 14 Stillwater Area HS (Topic 1)
  • Saturday, November 4 TBD (Tentative Burnsville) (Topic 2)
  • Saturday, November 11 Minnetonka HS (pending approval) (Topic 2)
  • Saturday, November 18 Mankato East HS (Topic 2)
  • Fri-Sat, Dec. 1-2 South St. Paul HS (Sate, Topic 2)

Sign up for tournaments happens during the class meetings. Meetings take place before school at least one day a week in room 10 in Building A. Coach Krista Boston or the Captains will hold some meetings on Saturdays as needed on non-tournament days as needed to prepare for tournaments.

2017/18 Fall Season Topics:

  • Topic 1: Resolved: The United States should require one year of national service from all young adults.
  • Topic 2: Voted on by the students in October

Times (Tournaments and Meetings)
Debate tournaments usually start around 8:30 am and we are usually done around 3:30 in the afternoon. There are usually snack stands but not necessarily easily available. So you may want to pack a lunch.

All announcements relating to the schedule and tournaments go up in the Google Classroom so sign up if you want to join debate by sending Coach Krista an email.

Debate will meet on Wednesday Afternoons in Room 8, Building A starting right after school around 4:15 p.m.  Punctuality is important due to the limited practices time. Students that are chronically late to practice may not be able to attend tournaments.

Debate Practice and Communications

Look for announcements in the Google Classroom. Debaters should be working diligently once the topic is announced in August and should begin prepping their cases and evidence right away/early in the season so that they are ready for tournaments and meetings.


PLEASE TAKE NOTE. You will have to arrange your own transportation to the tournaments. PARENTS are encouraged on their own to help out if at all possible with car pools, as well. The coach cannot by policy help with transportation arrangements and will decline if asked so please do not ask.


Action if you want to join for 2017/18 season.

What you need to do:

1.     Please send Coach Krista Boston an email so that she can add you to the email list for updates throughout the summer and the season.

2.     In August, make sure to formally register for the morning debate meeting and sign up for the activity so that you get a spot!


Debate is open to all 7th-12th graders and you don’t have to try out.  Just show up, be prepared to work and to have fun.  You get to debate with a partner and there are different levels of debate at each tournament, Novice (for beginners in high school or for middle school – middle school does two years in novice), Junior Varsity and Varsity


Type of Debate
MNMSA competes in the Classic Debate League – which includes two-person teams.  At most tournaments, you will compete in four rounds of debate and you will be affirmative (or you will support the topic) for two rounds, and negative (or against the topic) for two rounds.


The format is has each team taking either in the affirmative or negative position to argue the resolution with evidence that must be accurately cited (from many sources mostly found on the internet) which focuses on debating a value versus a policy.  Classic debate topics focus on whether something is good or bad or right or wrong.


What is Debate?
Debate has an ancient and honorable twenty-five-hundred-year history as the heart of Western Intellectual Tradition reaching as far back as Socrates, Plato and Aristotle.  And debate is the oldest, competitive State Tournament sponsored in the state of Minnesota.  Debate is such an integral part of our society that most of us don’t realize the lengthy and important history that debate has.  Additionally, debate helped lay the foundation for the democratic traditions that are at the basis of our American civilization.  Our constitution was written after a series of lengthy debates by our founding fathers.

But more importantly debate is a FUN and challenging activity where you get the chance to crush your opponents with your verbal finesse and cross-examine them until they submit to your obvious superior skills or at least until the timer goes off!

Interesting Facts about Debate

  • One study showed that over 80% of the current Congress were former debaters.
  • Another survey showed that of 703 former debaters at Ivy League institutions, 633 had at least 1 advanced degree and 209 had more than one.
  • One 2004 study suggested that the reading scores of debaters improved 25% more than non-debaters in only 1 year of debate and that their GPAs also improved.
  • 1/3 of top debaters go on to become lawyers.
  • ALL scientific studies conclude that debaters go onto leadership positions in a variety of fields: university educators, corporate executives, members of all branches of government, clergy, writers, scientists, publishers and lawyers.
  • The most recent study concluded not only that participation in competitive debate enhances critical thinking skills, but that compared to academic pursuits of a similar time length, competitive forensics demonstrates the largest gain in critical thinking skills.


So, join Bill Gates, Jack Dorsey, Adam Sandler, John Wayne, FDR, Oprah, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Thomas Jefferson, Nelson Mandela, James Earl Jones, Antonin Scalia, Tom Brokaw, Jane Pauley, James Madison, Bill Clinton, Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, JFK, Macolm X, Michael Strip, Lee Iacocca, John Wayne and Brad Pitt – Join Debate!  Learn about even more famous debaters through this youtube video sponsored by the National Speech and Debate Association:




Sample Topics From the 2015 and 2016 Fall Seasons:

Resolved:  The United States should incrementally raise the federal minimum wage to at least $15 per hour by 2020. 

Resolved: The United States federal government should pay financial reparations to African Americans to compensate for historic racial injustices."

Resolved: The United States should increase its military presence in the South China Sea in order to deter Chinese expansionism.   This topic will start November 5th.


If you have questions or concerns, please email Coach Krista Boston ( or the Captains.


*Coach Boston has 8 years of competition experience in speech and debate at the highschool and collegiate level and is entering her fourth year of coaching.  She competed in prose, poetry, drama, duo, humorous interpretation, storytelling and creative expression.  She is the recipient of many awards both in speech and debate.  She has an undergraduate B.S. in Communications and a Juris Doctorate (Law).

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