It’s time to make your voice heard, middle grades students!
At AMLE, we believe that middle grades students benefit from democratic approaches to education that involve students regularly in shared decision making. We also believe that we, as educators, benefit from knowing and understanding student perspectives. That’s why we’re holding the Great Middle School Voice Off during our #AMLE21 Annual Conference. It’s as easy as sharing your perspective on one of two topics that impact you as a middle grades student.
TOPIC 1: Should there be homework in middle school?
TOPIC 2: Should there be dress codes in middle school?
Students must select only one, and can choose to take the pro or con argument.
Students aged 10-15 as of November 4, 2021 may compete.
To enter the contest, students must:
Submissions are due by October 7, 2021 at 11:59 pm. No late submissions will be considered. There is no fee to enter this competition. Only one submission/student.
*General session times are subject to slight changes.
A selection committee of AMLE members will review submissions and evaluate each against the contest scoring rubric (adapted from NSDA Congressional Debate).
The student receiving the top score for each category (PRO topic 1, CON topic 1, PRO topic 2, and CON topic 2) will be selected as semi-finalists and invited to the live semi-final competition to be held Thursday, November 4 at 6:00 pm ET.
The semi-final round will be conducted during the #AMLE21 Annual Conference opening General Session on November 4 from 6:00 – 7:00 pm ET. The platform will be Zoom Webinar.
The topic will be the same as the one originally submitted. A coin toss will determine which participant will go first for each topic.
Each participant will have 3 minutes to articulate their position and 4 minutes to respond to judges’ questions. A 10 second grace period will be awarded all participants. Participants may be penalized at the discretion of the judges if they go over the time limit.
The judges will convene in a separate meeting space to assess each student’s performance and will select the top two finalists to proceed to the final found of competition. The judges’ decision is final.
The finalists will be given a new topic and will be randomly assigned a pro/con position following their selection on November 4th. The final round will be held on November 7 at 11:05 am during the final #AMLE21 General Session.
The final round will be conducted in the same format as the semi-final round, with the exception that the student will have 4 minutes to articulate their position and 5 minutes to respond to judges questions. The winner of Voice Off will be announced at the conclusion of the General Session on November 7th.
Each participant will be awarded as follows:
In addition, each semi-finalist student’s educator sponsor will receive complimentary registration to the #AMLE21 virtual conference, a year of AMLE professional membership, and a complimentary registration to #AMLE22 Annual Conference to be held in Orlando, Florida.
All educator sponsors will receive a complimentary copy of The Successful Middle School: This We Believe, AMLE tote, and $100 off the cost of registration to #AMLE21.
All participants agree to abide by the following rules:
How would you like to contribute to #AMLE21 while also hearing a multitude of student perspectives on these important topics? We’re looking for volunteers to participate in the first-round grading of submissions. The commitment is approximately 2 hours and will be completed the second week of October. Volunteers will earn an AMLE Volunteer badge to add to your professional profile. Sign up today