Sophomore Class finishes the third quarter strong with Bioethics Debate

Isis Thiede, Social Media Editor

Sophomores at Gunnison High School (GHS) will be finishing off their most recent unit in Biology with a bioethics debate. Bioethics is the study of the ethics of medical and biological science. GHS began this project in 1997 as a way to prepare students for future jobs, public speaking and overall to teach them life skills, and has continued it every year since Krystal Brown, one of the school’s biology teachers, said, “My goal is to show that there are always two sides to an issue and there is always research to find an answer. It’s really important for students who are about to be adults to be able to back up their points with data as well as see the other side.”

Students will debate on many different topics that debate controversial topics. For example, one of the topics is if scientists should release a strain of the flu into 40 airports across the country that could potentially cure cancer. Another topic students debated was if a parent has a child with a rare disease called Tay-Sachs that greatly affects children should she abort the child she is currently pregnant with knowing that the child will also have the rare disease. Since Ms. Brown has been a teacher here and she has had the same topics. She says that “I tend to pick topics that I think will be interesting depending on the students. I sit down and design the teams based on how I think they work together and if they have expressed opinions on a certain thing.” 


Students were graded on a number of things including: confidence, cross examination questions, appearance, attitude, timing, and literature/sources cited. Not only that but students will be expected to write a six paragraph essay describing their thoughts on the assignment and will be graded on: research, debate process, personal feelings, debate as a tool, and finally a bibliography. 


Students seemed to love the project with Anselmo Ballesteros saying “It was fun, it was something to do and I think everyone liked it. Our group was struggling at first but once we got it it went really well.” Kathryn Frey also said “It was a good learning opportunity and it was fun to debate about something we’ve been researching. arguing with the other side’s opinion and hearing their side was also really great.” Both of them mentioned that it helped them with public speaking and confidence.


Brown and Kattnig plan to continue this assignment for years to come and expect positive feedback from students and parents alike.