Event Reports

First Alberta High School Ethics Bowl

ualta01On Saturday March 6, the Department of Philosophy hosted the first Alberta High School Ethics Bowl. Though we would have liked to welcome the teams and their supporters on campus, due to the pandemic, the competition had to be held online.

For our first event, two teams faced each other: the Spartans of Archbishop O'Leary Catholic High School (Edmonton) and the Spartans of St. Peter the Apostle Catholic High School (Spruce Grove). Unlike a debate, an Ethics Bowl pits teams against an issue, rather than against each other: each team competes to devise the most effective solution to the problem at hand, but also has the opportunity to pose and respond to questions about these solutions. Points are awarded to teams arriving at the most thoughtful, responsive, and collaborative solutions to the question at hand. Students on both teams offered great performances as they discussed ethical issues surrounding vaccine distribution and call-out culture and answered questions from the judges.

Spartans are great warriors and it was a tight match but O’Leary Spartans won the match 136-129. Both teams will represent Alberta at the National finals to be held online on April 16-17, 2021. More information about the National finals is available at ethicsbowl.ca.

We would like to thank our distinguished panel of judges for their insightful questions: Glenn Griener, emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Alberta; Mike Blezy, Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Toronto; Rachel Loewen Walker, Ariel F Sallows Chair in Human Rights in the College of Law, University of Saskatchewan; and Jay Worthy, University of Alberta graduate student, who helped us with judging in the practice round. We would also like to thank the teachers who encouraged and supported each team: John Knechtel (O’Leary) and Lenna Zimmer (St. Peter Apostle) as well as the two graduate students who trained the teams: Eric Smith and Peter Andes. Special thanks also to Eric for moderating the tournament.

Congratulations again to both teams of Spartans and good luck at the National finals!

2021 Manitoba Ethics Bowl

TScreen Shot 2021 03 11 at 8.59.05 AMhe 7th Manitoba High School Ethics Bowl was held on February 18th and 19th, 2021. A total of eight high schools participated on a virtual platform to discuss ethical topics such as algorithms and artificial intelligence. teen vaping, call out culture, criminal records, weaponized drones and more. The teams intellectual depth of understanding on the variables impacting each case has surpassed previous years. They demonstrated throughout the two days their commitment to a respectful and open dialogue in their quest for understanding these current topics. They are global citizens, capable of tackling complex issues with decorum and respect. On behalf of our organizations we need to thank all the students, teachers and volunteers for making the MHSEB memorable. 
Congratulations to the finalist, Miles Macdonell Collegiate and the winners, École secondaire Kelvin High School!


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Ethics Across Our Borders

Two international events were recently held by the group behind the Manitoba Ethics Bowl.ebaccrossborders

1. A2Ethics at the University of Michigan and Manitoba Association for Right in Liberties organized the first Ethics Across Our Borders event which was held on

January 23, 2021. A total of six high schools, two from Manitoba and four from Michigan participated. The thirty students tackled the following abbreviated topics;

  • ‘Sex’ offenders: irredeemable?
  • Valuing Achievements: What is the nature of and what is an achievement?
  • Shadow Banning: Do social platforms have the right to curate messages?

The students really appreciated having the opportunity to meet each other while discussing relevant ethical topics.

2. Ethics Bowl China and Manitoba Association for Rights in Liberties held an Ethics Across Our Borders using a ethics café format. The event was held on February 27, 2021 with a total of twenty eight students representing ten high schools, five from each country. The students discussed the following abbreviated topics:

  • The Food Delivery Frenzy: How does and should technology affect our relationship with each other?
  • Brittany Spear’s Conservatorship: How does a conservatorship affect someone’s autonomy?
  • The Role of Universities: Is it to prepare students for employment?

The event was a resounding success with many students wanting to continue the discussions even after it was time to end. Students readily started sharing their comments is a thought provoking and respectful manner. They want to meet again.

2018 & 2019 Manitoba Regionals

On December 11, 2019 the 6th Manitoba High School Ethics Bowl was held at the University of Manitoba. Cross team friendships were made throughout the day.

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On April 25, 2019, the first Canadian High School Ethics Bowl was held at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. The winning team was École secondaire Kelvin High School from Winnipeg.

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On December 12, 2018 at the University of Manitoba, the anticipation for the Ethics Bowl to begin was evident. The provincial champions were Fort Richmond Collegiate.

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