Skip to content
header background

Thematic STEM debate is an initiative that provides the setting for students to place their arguments and rebuttals on a particular theme. The first edition of this initiative was held in 2019 for secondary students. Year 11 students of that year were invited to participate in this event.

In 2020, this initiative was extended to primary schools (year 6 students) and in 2021 to middle schools (year 8 students).  Themes discussed by twelve debaters, each from a different state and non-state school were the following:

YearPrimary School
Thematic STEM Debate
Middle School
Thematic STEM Debate
Secondary School
Thematic STEM Debate
2021From Field to Fork: Genetically modified foodExotic Animals as petsWomen in STEM and Economic Growth
2020Climate changeThe Socio-Economic impact of a Pandemic
2019Health impacts of specific environmental threats

The aim of this initiative is to engage students to become active critical thinkers and skilled debaters. Each school can nominate one student. Participating students are given a pre-arranged document containing reports, audio-visual materials and policies on the theme to help them set their arguments.  Such documents contain national, European and International positions/ opinions on the theme.

Through effective participation in the debate, students:

  • verify the value of evidence for concepts;
  • recognize strengths and weaknesses of arguments;
  • engage with opposing views and speak strategically.

The debate is moderated by a professional capable of keeping a dynamic discussion both informative and engaging as well as being proficient in the subject of the theme. A team of professionals will adjudicate each event using a set of criteria.

For a successful event, partnerships have been formed with local banks, the industry sector, museums, national entities as well as non-governmental organisations. The Science centre partners sponsor this event by hosting the Thematic STEM debate, providing an adjudicator or financing the awards.

Three winners for the Top Debater Award are announced during a short award ceremony at the end of the debate.

Thematic STEM Debate winners

YearLevelWinning SchoolsTop Debaters
2021PrimaryGozo College, Sannat
St. Francis school, Msida
St. Theresa College, Birkirkara
Giosiana Cardona
Jayden Giordmaina
Kai Kirby Pencz
2021MiddleSt Nicholas College, Rabat
St. Martin’s College
Maria Regina College, Naxxar
David Dimitrov Viyachki
Daniela Doandes
Julia Ricci Costa
2021SecondarySt. Jeanne Antide College
St. Benedict College, Kirkop
Maria Regina College, Zokrija, Mosta
Nina Skye Briffa
Martina Casaru`
Lianne Sammut
2020PrimaryMaria Regina College, Naxxar
San Gorg Preca College, Floriana
St. Margaret College, Vittoriosa
Hailey Schembri
Leo Vergnaud
Iker Zerafa
2019SecondarySt. Monica School, Gzira
St. Benedict College, Kirkop
Maria Regina College, Zokrija, Mosta
Ella Micallef Darmenia
Valentina Stagno Navarra
Daniel Vella