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Ergo | Summer 2014

High School Ethics Bowl Grows Yet Again!

The UT Department of Philosophy continued to organize and host the Tennessee Regional High School Ethics Bowl, an outreach event launched five years ago.  Held at the Crowne Plaza, downtown Knoxville, the Spring 2014 Bowl was the largest yet, drawing nearly 20 teams from regional high schools to compete in a full day of deliberation, discussion and presentation on a wide range of moral issues.  Judges included UT faculty and graduate students as well as distinguished members of the Knoxville community, including Police Chief David Rausch.  Coached by faculty members from their high schools, the teams devote several months to preparation before the competition.  UT graduate students provide training and support for the local high school coaches.  The 2014 winners were:  Farragut High School (first place), Austin East High School (second place) and Oak Ridge High School (third place).  

Ryan Windeknecht, a Lecturer in the Philosophy Department, and Don Dillard, a graduate student, provided excellent organizational leadership.  The outreach event was a huge success, exposing roughly a hundred high school students, and many of their parents, to philosophically disciplined moral reflection and discussion.  The event continues to draw bright high school students to UT and to the Philosophy Department.  And it continues to enrich the high school experience of many students, some of whom now enjoy access, as a result of the program, to pilot philosophy courses in their high school curriculum.  The event drew positive press from local television stations and print news.  The Department thanks the College of Arts and Sciences for its support of this event to date.  Unfortunately, the College does not have the resources to continue its previous levels of financial support.  Accordingly, the Department is eager to work with potential donors to ensure that it is able to continue to sponsor this event.  Interested parties should contact David Reidy, Head of the Department of Philosophy, dreidy@utk.edu.


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