Bronx Science debate continues to thrive

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Correction appended.

The Bronx High School of Science is known for a lot of things — the most Nobel Prize-winning alumni of any high school in the country; the school’s not one, but two competitive robotics teams; the ability to get Bill Nye the Science Guy to speak at their graduation. But the school is also known for something that has nothing to do with science: their speech and debate team.

Last weekend, the storied Bronx Science Speech and Debate team held the 45th Annual New York City Invitational Tournament. Or, as the students lovingly call it, “Big Bronx.”

It certainly is big. Around 2,500 students from hundreds of schools around the country descended onto the 75 W. 250th St. campus for the tournament. Including judges and other support, there were about 3,000 people present, according to debate organizers. Bronx Science students, who regularly travel throughout the country for debates, hosted, but did not participate themselves.

“It’s a lot of people’s favorite tournament,” said Maddy Abrahams, a senior and the co-captain for the speech side of the team. For the tournament, she was in charge of the tournament’s satellite site at the former Walton High School campus.

“There’s something about being in New York City,” said Garnet Garcia, who is also a senior and a mentorship director for speech.
“For the tournament, I’m running concessions and just jumping around, making announcements and all that good jazz. I have a megaphone,” she laughed.

The team had all hands on deck for the tournament — even graduates make the trip back to their alma mater to help out for the weekend. One such alum was Andrew Markoff, who graduated from Georgetown University in 2014 and has started his own debate consulting company.

“It’s the largest family that I have, that I think any of us have ever been a part of. We’ve been a team for decades, historically a really, really good team, and a large team, and also an innovative team,” said Mr. Markoff.

That’s when Assistant Principal Phoebe Cooper couldn’t hold herself back.

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