Getting schooled by my class on Debate Day

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Set up for success in their oppositional desk structures, the grade five/six students at Columbia Park Elementary, are prepped and ready to let loose their arguments. 

They have researched and worked hard to learn the professional debate format so they might put forward the persuasive argument that their energy source is the best on Earth. Boy, did they do a good job. 

3 rounds. 6 energy sources. The energy was high in the room, I can tell you.

Starting by going to the ground, the first two teams debated about the use of Geothermal Energy Vs Oil. Both teams shared great information and formed strong rebuttals to their opponent’s arguments. Did you know that Alberta announced in their February budget, $28m for their geothermal and mineral strategy? And they had recent success with Geothermal tests. You can find our more from Canadian Geothermal here.

Next up we ventured into the world of renewables – Solar Vs Hydro. Interesting to see the debate in a province where around 91% of our energy comes from Hydroelectric Power. Students weren’t afraid to touch on the negatives associated with these energy providers, but the optimism about how we can scale up renewables for the future rang loud and clear from both teams. Here is BC’s Renewable Energy Plan if you’d like to learn more.

The final bout was a complex debate between the seemingly invisible energy sources – Nuclear and Wind. This debate took us across the Pond to learn from how countries like France create around 70% of their energy from Nuclear Power. The debate took us further East to the Ukraine, to talk about the realities of what can happen if Nuclear Power does go wrong. Wind didn’t get away without a fierce argument, but gave their rebuttal with good evidence, argument and reason.

I know I learned some lessons about the amount and ease with which we can get power from different sources. As we, and technology progress, enterprise develops and opinion changes, I think we could easily see the necessary scaling up of Renewable Energy use across the world that we need to combat Climate Change. With each energy type more suited to particular places than others. 

As always, I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the CPE students. They and their wonderful teacher Ms. Hall, dedicated an enormous amount of their own energy into learning and sharing their knowledge with me. 

Thanks for the schooling Grade five/sixes! 👍