Article by: Grace Jin
The National High School Ethics Bowl, or NHSEB, was founded in 2012 by the Squire Family Foundation and the Parr Center for Ethics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It was created with the intent of promoting respectful, productive, and rigorous discussion of ethics among high school students across the nation. Since then, the popularity of the National High School Ethics Bowl has steadily grown; by 2019 over 4,000 students from over 500 teams from 327 schools across the nation were involved in the Ethics Bowl.
Students have several months to prepare responses to a set of 15 cases released before the season begins in September. Then, from September to February, volunteer organizations from across the United States begin hosting regional high school ethics bowl competitions. Based on a first-come, first-serve registration system, a limited number of teams compete in three preliminary rounds, which then ultimately collapses to a final round between the two top-performing teams. During the competition, each team of 3-7 is judged on the quality of their reasoning and presentation skills. The winning teams are ultimately invited to participate in the National High School Ethics Bowl Finals, hosted in April by the Parr Center for Ethics at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
On Saturday, Feb. 8, the Southern California High School Ethics Bowl competition took place at Chapman University in Orange, California. Only 20 teams, representing 16 schools, were allowed to compete. After the three preliminary rounds, the four semifinalist teams were announced to be from Canyon Crest, Harvard-Westlake, La Cañada, and Santa Susana High School. Two and a half hours later, the semifinal and final rounds concluded, and the team representing Canyon Crest High School emerged as champions.
Canyon Crest High School’s team will compete in a playoff against the winner of the Oregon Ethics Bowl during late February, and the winner will then compete in the national competition in April.
Congrats to all of the participants, and good luck to those competing in the playoff!
To learn more about the National High School Ethics Bowl, see here: