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UVU Invites Utah High Schools To Participate In Ethics Bowl

8 February 2013 No Comment

February 8, 2013

For Immediate Release

University Marketing & Communications: Mike Rigert (801) 863-6807

Written by: Karissa Neely (801) 863-6807

Utah Valley University is inviting Utah high schools to participate in an inaugural Utah High School Ethics Bowl, which will be held Feb. 9 at UVU.

High school faculty and advisers are encouraged to prepare one or two student teams to participate in the competition. The winning Utah team will participate in the National High School Ethics Bowl to be held at the University of North Carolina in April 2013, sponsored, in part, by the Squire Family Foundation.

According to Karen Mizell, UVU professor of philosophy, the High School Ethics Bowl is modeled on the Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl.

“The Ethics Bowl for university and high school students is an excellent opportunity for young people to reason together about the puzzling ethical dilemmas of our time,” Mizell said. “Whatever profession these young people enter after they complete their education, they will face ethical challenges. The Ethics Bowl is a fun and effective way to augment their understanding of ethics. The most important aspect of the competition is that students think hard about ethical situations and learn from each other.”

In the Ethics Bowl, teams of up to five students face off on a series of challenging and complex moral issues. Presented with cases drawn from real events, participants defend positions they believe to be most reasonable, and are judged on the strength, perceptiveness and logical force of the arguments offered. The tournament is a dynamic event where teams work together to find the best position while developing a greater understanding and appreciation of the arguments on all sides.

Early in the school year, teams receive a set of cases that will be in play in the competition. The case topics cover a broad range of issues, such as ethics in the classroom (e.g., cheating, plagiarism), personal relationships (e.g., dating, friendship), social and political ethics (e.g. free speech, gun control), professional ethics (e.g., whistle-blowing), and global issues (e.g. the impact of globalization, climate change). The Ethics Bowl provides an engaging forum for students to learn, think about, and discuss real-life issues, while helping each other develop articulate and informed views.

In each round of the competition, two teams have an opportunity to address one case each (picked at random from the prepared cases) in front of a team of judges. Differing from common “pro/con” debate formats, the competition allows for agreement on ethical conclusions, and evaluates the teams based on the care and thoughtfulness of the arguments offered about the issues at stake.

Several years ago, UVU hosted the first high school ethics bowl in the nation and, after a hiatus, is once again hosting the event in concert with the first National High School Ethics Bowl.


About UVU

Utah Valley University is located in Orem, Utah, and is home to more than 30,000 students. UVU began as a vocational school during World War II, and in the seven decades since has evolved into a technical school, community school, state college and, finally, a comprehensive regional teaching university. UVU is one of Utah’s largest institutions of higher learning and offers programs ranging from career training to high-demand master degrees, with emphasis on undergraduate education.

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