top of page

National High School Science Debate

Debates span 60-minutes across several days with different moots, argument stances, and debate teams. The preliminaries and semi-finals span 2 days in February, and the finals are held during Education Week.

Key Things to Know

  • One team is permitted per school. Each team must comprise of three mid-upper high school students.

  • Based on a team's success across different rounds, students are required to debate multiple moots and stances across consecutive days. Advanced preparation is recommended.

  • Schools have until October 23, 2023, to replace any previously registered team member should circumstances arise. Substitute students are generally not permitted after this period except for extenuating circumstances where a team member is no longer able to participate.

  • Based on the number of schools registered, features such as 'seeds' and 'byes' may be required to create the debate schedule. This means that the top performing schools from the previous year's debate may be automatically advanced to a later round.

  • The preliminaries will be held on February 6-7, 2024 at FortisTCI Headquarters, and the semi-finals and finals will be held on Wednesday March 6, 2024, during Education Week.

  • Schools are encouraged to register as soon as possible to confirm their interest. An information pack can be downloaded on the resources page.

Important Dates

  • October 23, 2023 – Registration deadline for debate participants. Teacher/Coaches are also required to register. Register here.

  • October 31, 2023 - Release of the debate brackets and official debate topics assigned to participating schools.

  • November 30, 2023 - Deadline for schools to replace any previously registered team member.

  • January 11, 2024 - Pre-event virtual meeting with registered students and coaches. A notification will be issued to registrants regarding the time of the meeting.

  • February 6-7, 2024 - Preliminary rounds for the debate will be held at FortisTCI Headquarters.

  • March 6, 2024 – Semi-finals and Finals for the debate will be held at the Gustarvus Lightbourne Sports Complex, as part of schedule of compeitions hosted around the National Science and Technology Fair.

Debating vs. Arguing

A good debate is filled with verified facts that offer strong support for your stance on the topic. Opinions are rarely relevant. Likewise, emotions are also out of place in a debate. Project confidence in your stance by speaking clearly, calmly and rationally. Listen to your opponent and make sure you are defending against their offense and pressing any weaknesses in their argument.


Each student on the winning project team receives an educational grant, a tech-based gift and a special participant bag. The school also receives a donation towards its science program. Second place winner also receives a donation for its school science program, and each student on the debate team receives an educational grant. The monetary amounts are tiered.

bottom of page