Rising stars

Rising stars

Chan Young Secondary School tackles an out-of-this-world topic with poise and clarity to win a tough semi-final

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From left, Carissa Tsang, Yannie Yeung and Jane Cheung from HKFYG Lee Shau Kee College.
From left, Carissa Tsang, Yannie Yeung and Jane Cheung from HKFYG Lee Shau Kee College.
Photo: May Tse/SCMP

Humans have pitched a flag on the moon and have even sent robots to look for life in other planets. But is space the last place we have yet to fully explore?

This was the interesting question posed to Form Five students from HKFYG Lee Shau Kee College and SKH Chan Young Secondary School in the Division One semi-finals of the 13th Nesta-SCMP Debating Competition.

The Chan Young team - comprising Mavis Lum Wing-shan, Kimmi Kei Kam-yan and Nicola Wan Shun-yu - won this week at the Mariners' Club with spirited arguments against the motion, "Space is the final frontier".

Their rivals, Jane Cheung Wing-sum, Yannie Yeung Yan-hang and Carissa Tsang Wai-in, argued that space was the final frontier because it represents the origin of life and holds the answers to our universe.

But the negative side rebutted that there was no definite answer because scientific knowledge is always evolving. They also pointed out that there are places on Earth - such as the bottom of the ocean - that we haven't explored.

The judges said the affirmative side was not able to provide enough evidence to defend their stance, so they declared Chan Young the winner.

The judges were Dr Nicholas Thomas, a professor from the Department of Asian and International Studies at City University of Hong Kong; Barrie Bidmead, an English teacher at Kowloon Sam Yuk Secondary School; and Ian Sanderson, a debating coach at TWGHs Kap Yan Directors' College.

Sanderson said Chan Young won because their arguments were clear and they captured the audience's attention.

Kei, the second speaker from Chan Young, was named the best speaker. "She engaged very well with the audience and made a very impactful speech," said Sanderson. He advised speakers not to crowd too much information in their speeches. "Sometimes they spend too much time on rebuttals and have to rush through their speech in the final 30 seconds," he said.

Meanwhile, St Joseph's College defeated Raimondi College to claim a spot in the final.

It was a tough fight between the two boys' schools.

Eugene Kwan Yu-hin, Waylon Chan Wing-lun and Thomas Fung Ho-kwan, all Form Six students, represented St Joseph's. Raimondi's team comprised Form Five students Titian Tam Chung-yan, Kevin Chik Boon-hung and Issac Chung Wen-yao.

Chan Young will face St Joseph's College in the division final at the same venue on December 5.

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