Thematic STEM Debate for Primary Schools

The Science Centre (Pembroke) within the Directorate for Learning and Assessment Programmes is launching the 4th edition of the Thematic STEM Debate within Primary Schools. The aim of this initiative is to engage students to become active critical thinkers and skilled debaters. Through active participation in the debate, students will:

•Examine ideas, reports, audio-visual material and policies;

•Verify the value of evidence for concepts;

•Recognize strengths and weaknesses of arguments;

•Engage with opposing views and speak strategically.

This year’s Thematic STEM debate for the primary sector will focus on Space Exploration. In preparation for the Thematic STEM debate, student participants together with their mentors are requested to carefully read and analyse the document Space Exploration: Is it worth the investment?’. The document, which includes related audio-visual resources and links for further research/reading can be accessed through the Primary Science website under the section Thematic STEM Debate. The following criteria will be used by a team of professionals to adjudicate the debate:

•organization and clarity –main arguments and responses presented in a clear/orderly way;

•use of argument –response given to support the arguments;

•use of cross-examination and rebuttal –identification of weaknesses in other’s arguments and ability to defend own arguments;

•presentation style –tone of voice, clarity of expression, precision of arguments.

The Thematic STEM Debate will be held on Wednesday 25th January 2023 from 10.00 am to noon at St Clare College, St Julians Primary School. The full programme of events can be downloaded HERE. Each school can nominate one Year 6 student by accessing the registration LINK by Friday, 16thDecember 2022. Registrations are on a first come first served basis. Kindly note that travel to and from the venue should be coordinated by the participating school. Three participants will be presented the Top Debater Award. Winners will be announced towards the end of the debate. Certificates of participation will be presented to all students while winners will be awarded a set of Wireless Headphones each, sponsored by the HSBC Malta Foundation.

Any queries can be put forward to Mr Christopher Buttigieg, Head of Department, Primary Science on