University of Washington’s Center for Philosophy for Children
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Washington State High School Ethics Bowl

The first Washington State High School Ethics Bowl was held on Saturday, February 1, 2014, at the University of Washington, and was a great success! 22 teams from 13 high schools participated, and an array of lawyers, judges, philosophers, business people and others served as judges and moderators.

The 2014 Ethics Bowl was generously sponsored by:

Cable, Langenbach, Kinerk & Bauer LLP
Savitt Bruce & Willey LLP
Stoel Rives LLP
University of Washington College of Arts & Sciences, Division of Social Sciences
University of Washington Department of Philosophy
University of Washington Program on Values
University of Washington School of Law

This year's winner, Seattle Academy, will advance to the National High School Ethics Bowl on April 4-5, 2014, at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Congratulations!

Other awards at the 2014 competition were:

Second place: Lake Washington High School
Third place: Roosevelt High School
Fourth place: Chief Sealth High School
Spirit of the Ethics Bowl (tie): Lakeside School and STEM High School

2014 Ethics Bowl program

Seattle Times article about the event:

We invite all high schools in the Pacific Northwest to participate in the 2015 Washington State High School Ethics Bowl on January 31, 2015, at the University of Washington.

Ethics Bowls are collaborative yet competitive events in which teams analyze a series of wide-ranging ethical dilemmas. These exciting tournaments are a great way for students to deepen their understanding and appreciation of interesting ethical and philosophical issues. High school ethics bowls typically utilize case studies relevant to young students, such as questions concerning cheating, plagiarism, peer pressure, use and abuse of social media, privacy, and relationships, as well as political and social issues such as free speech, gun control, cloning, parental consent, and stem cell research. More information is available on the National High School Ethics Bowl website:

Although the High School Ethics Bowl is competitive, it is intended to promote collaboration. Teams do not have to take pro/con positions; in fact, they can agree with each other. They are not required to refute each other's points, but rather to offer commentary on one another's arguments. Teams are judged according to the quality of a team's reasoning and how well team members organize and present their cases, analyze the case's morally relevant features, and anticipate and preemptively respond to commentary and questions. Judges for the 2015 Washington State High School Ethics Bowl will again be drawn from the local legal, judicial and philosophical communities.

Each Ethics Bowl team includes three to five students and a coach (ideally, a high school teacher). Teams prepare for the competition using the official National Qualifying Event (NQE) case pool, which has been put together by the National High School Ethics Bowl. We will assign a graduate or undergraduate philosophy student to each team as a resource.

High schools will each be able to register up to two teams in the 2015 Washington State competition. Registration will be available in fall 2014.

For more information, please contact us at, or call 206-221-6297.