Learn key skills & attitudes for Congressional Debate/Student Congress/Model Congress
Congressional Debate models the lawmaking process in a democratic society. Our unique workshop exposes students to key skills and attitudes needed in both competitive Congressional Debate/Student Congress, as well as Model Congress.
Our focus is fostering students’ sustained growth and improvement, not just preparing for the next competition. This happens in an innovative, fun, and safe atmosphere that encourages students to reach beyond their potential. Respected and experienced classroom teachers employ layer-in skills methodically to ensure mastery, complemented by reflective learning, and personal goal setting. This is augmented with extensive use of technology, including video capture of practice speeches, as well as individualized attention and personal development. We convey knowledge, build skills, and foster a disposition that emphasizes leadership over mere competitiveness.
Level: All Levels
This program is appropriate for students in any with several years or no experience. Veteran classroom teachers differentiate instruction as needed, based on experience level and understanding of politics and government. Students can opt into being considered for our advanced workshop. Learn More!
Summer 2021 Sessions:
Session 1: Monday, July 5, 2021 through Friday, July 17, 2021
Session 2: Monday, July 19th, 2021 through Friday, July 31, 2021
Our alumni have won and placed at national invitational tournaments, won NCFL Nationals, earned the esteemed NSDA/NFL Final Session Leadership Award. More important, our philosophy of emphasizing leadership training has prepared our students to lead their squads, and become successful in college beyond high school speech and debate.
“I loved the intensiveness of it. I was thrilled to find that this wouldn’t be a walk in the park, and that it was intellectually stimulating.”
“It was well worth the money for the opportunity to meet some of the best at congressional debate.”
“I honestly learned more about Congress and related topics in 10 days than I have in months at my school. It is a very entertaining and informative camp and I would definitely come back.”
“I love how the experience was personalized. For example, my main problem in Congress was my lack of extemporaneous speaking, eye contact, and refutation – basically, I was accustomed to reciting mostly prepared speeches. Within a few days, we were doing so many speeches that I was both encouraged and forced to change.”
We empower students to become critical thinkers, collaborative decision-makers, and ethical leaders while cultivating a unique style to set them apart from other debaters.
Morning: Lecture: Congressional Economics
Late Morning: Legislation, Authorships
After Lunch: Questioning and Answering
Mid-Afternoon: Squad Management
Late Afternoon: Parli. Procedure/Presiding
After Dinner: Prep Time & Speeches
Hear From Our Students
Standard or Advanced
This program is designed for students going into the 9th or 10th grade with 0-2 years of experience in Congress, or who have experience in other forms of debate, but not in Congress. Focus of the program will be on solidifying foundational knowledge and skills to be successful in Congressional Debate or Model Congress.
This program is for students going into the 10th, 11th, or 12th grade with experience who have demonstrated considerable or consistent success in competition, and are looking to stand out with deeper content, stronger delivery, and more memorability each round. Focus will be on honing skills to research more efficiently, devise higher level argumentation, write speeches quicker, refute decisively, and stand out in a room as a leader. Practice will be intense, breaking bad habits and forging effective ones. Students must apply for consideration of acceptance to this program.
Synthesize knowledge of current events through drafting compelling legislation
Explore of theoretical frameworks upon which arguments are based
Construct and deliver dynamic, engaging arguments and refutations
Master parliamentary procedure and skill in presiding
Ethics and Leadership
Demonstrate competitive ethics and squad leadership
Our Excellent Faculty
Adam J. Jacobi
High School/College Debate Experience: Participated in speech, debate, and Model UN in high school; moot court in college.
Ms. Beard has been Director of Forensics at Spring Woods HS, Houston, TX, for 14 years, and has taught there for 37. In 2019, she coached the NSDA National Champion in Congressional Debate – House. She also has coached state champions (Texas Forensic Association and University Interscholastic League), and her students have been finalists at prestigious tournaments, including NSDA, Harvard, and the Tournament of Champions. Ms. Beard has a Bachelor’s in Speech and Theatre and a Master’s in Theatre. She was selected as Educator of the Year for the Texas Speech and Communication Association (2013) and teaches courses annually at the TSCA conference. She was also selected as Spring Woods’ Teacher of The Year (2013) and as Spring Branch ISD Teacher of the Year finalist (2013). This is her 12th year as the UIL Academic Coordinator for Spring Woods High School and she serves on the NSDA Committee for the Space City Chapter.
Years Previously Taught at other workshops: For the past 9 years, organized and taught a speech and debate summer camp for Spring Branch ISD high schools in Houston.
High School/College Debate Experience: competed 2 years in high school; 4 years in college
Mr. Wurzman has been an educator and speech and debate coach for 12 years, including at Success Academy HS in New York, NY; Southlake Carroll HS (TX); Spring HS (TX); and KUGNUS ACTS. He holds a Master’s in Education Policy from Columbia University Teachers College, and a BS in Government and Political Science from the University of Texas at Austin. He has taught AP Government and AP Economics.
High School/College Debate Experience:
Plano Senior-Finalist Extemp (TFA/UIL), RD 14 NFL PFD 2005
Other Relevant Info: Earned NSDA Diamond (2017).
Nautica Flowers (they/them) is a returning coach for the Harvard Debate workshop who comes from a background of Public Forum and Congressional Debate. Nautica competed in Public Forum debate for two years before eventually finding their home within the Congressional Debate community where they remain as a coach today. Nautica is the inaugural Minnesota Congressional Debate State champion, a Nationals semi-finalist, and competed as well as coached on the national circuit. Besides coaching Congressional Debate, Nautica is the head speech coach of Robbinsdale Cooper High School where they personally teach oratory and discussion. In all activities Nautica promotes the prioritization of empathy, consideration, and real-world context above all else. Outside of the forensics world, Nautica can be found at their other job as a professional astrologer for their own business!
Ojasvi Saxena is an incoming student at UC Berkeley, after graduating from Adlai Stevenson High School. She coached Stevenson high school’s 150+ member debate team as Captain, both individually and in small groups. Her team won the 2021 Harvard Sweepstakes, as well as doubling the number of students who qualified to TOC in an at-large/full bid capacity. She is currently coaching at Ascend Speech & Debate
Register for 2021
Applications are due by June 15, 2021.