Our class is targeted for any middle school students that take interest in learning more about the art of research and persuasion. Our course aims to teach students techniques on presenting arguments, asking the right questions, finding qualified evidence, and good delivery. Regardless of whether you would like to pursue debate in the future, public speaking and building a case around a position is integral to anything you would like to do. In the span of three months, this course will hold three to four formal debates in a variety of styles that are offered in high school debate.

Please sign up for the class

Dates: Saturdays 2/3, 2/10, 2/17, 3/24, 3/31, 4/14, 4/21, 4/28

Time: 2:00pm–3:30pm

Location: Gunn High School, 780 Arastradero Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94306

Grades: 6 - 8


Claire Cheng

Claire Cheng is a current sophomore at Gunn High School. She is an avid member of her school’s debate team, focusing primarily on Policy. This will be Claire’s third year involved with debating. In her first year of high school, Claire and her partner were incredibly grateful in qualifying for Nationals in Policy debate. Claire loves debating as it has helped her recognize the validity of opposing arguments and the controversy behind every government policy. Debate as taught her to become slower to judge and form opinions. The world is far from black and white, instead, it is many muddy shades of gray. Debating and public speaking are useful tools vital to daily conversations. In her free time, Claire loves to write about social issues, volunteer at her local Chinese school, and journal.

Mallika Parulekar

Mallika Parulekar is a sophomore at Gunn High School. She enjoys debating in the policy division of her high school’s debate team. Last year, Mallika and her debate partner reached the octofinals of the prestigious James Logan Invitational and then went undefeated at a league tournament. Their season culminated in a rare qualification as a dual freshman team to the National Tournament. There, Mallika was fortunate to reach Round 6 in Extemporaneous Debate. This year she is excited to be the Vice-President of her high school’s debate club and is looking forward to another season of debate. Mallika enjoys public speaking and is also involved in Model United Nations. In her spare time, Mallika likes reading, classical dance and arguing!