An Ethics Bowl is both a collaborative and competitive event, where teams of students analyze and discuss ethical dilemmas. They imagine, criticize, and compare bold strategies, and may even amend their original positions when faced with convincing arguments. Students have opportunities to pose and respond to probing questions, which results in a deepening awareness of the stakes and principles that animate the discussion.
Teams from public schools are eligible to participate, and each school team comprises five students from Grades 9 to 12. In advance of the Ethics Bowl, schools receive cases that focus on current ethical issues—social, political, economic, scientific, cultural, or beyond. Students research and develop the cases, and arrive at the Ethics Bowl prepared to present their ideas and to listen to other perspectives. All teams participate in a round-robin style competition. In each round, two teams discuss two cases, and winning teams proceed to the semi-final and final competitions.
Students are evaluated on the following skills:
- use of relevant information
- critical thinking
- original thinking
- intellectual improvisation