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UNC National High School Ethics Bowl

Earlier in the school year, Megan Hubbell approached Ms. Guillory with an idea for her Honors research final project- a competition called the UNC National High School Ethics Bowl.  Megan discovered the competition, which is connected to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, through her college search.  Participating in the ethics bowl will be included in her application to this selective university, which is yet another example of how the Honors Program allows students to craft a curriculum path for themselves that serves their personal academic goals.  The competition's website describes it as follows:

NHSEB's objective is to do more than teach students how to think through ethical issues.  It is to teach students how to think through ethical issues together, as fellow citizens, in a complex moral and political community."

In this competition, two teams analyze complex ethical questions and hold positions in a conversational response that they actually think is reasonable.  Each team is asked questions by the other team and by a panel of judges, and their discussions are based on the level of knowledge and critical thinking behind them.  On top of the rigor of preparing for this competition, a team must be assembled and plans must be made to travel to Rice University in Houston for the regional competition in April.  It's safe to say that this competition is a huge undertaking, but Megan has rallied a team who have begun their diligent research.  Despite the challenge, Ms. Guillory believes that the odds are in this group's favor.  She says, 

When Megan Hubbell proposed the National High School Ethics Bowl as her capstone project, I tried to talk her out of it.  I feared that she couldn't get a team together, and I worried about the fact that the nearest regional competition is in Houston.  However, Megan is a strong persuader, and she answered each of my concerns with concrete solutions.  Ultimately, she got a team together, and I couldn't be happier about this opportunity for students.  The purpose of this competition is to encourage civil dialogue among teens about real-world issues, and this is a goal that is very much aligned with the mission of Sacred Heart education.  I am thrilled to bring the first Sacred Heart team ever to the regional competition, and I am fully confident that they will represent us well as women of heart who know how to use their voices not only to build understanding, but also build mutual respect between opposing sides."

The team members for this competition were chosen for a reason.  Not only are they hard workers, responsible researchers, and analytical thinkers, they are each representing a certain ethical topic in their individual Honors research.  Megan Hubbell, 23, the originator of this idea, is researching philosophy.  Hanna Cheeran, '23 is researching the human rights ethics behind mental health and its relationship with criminalization, homelessness, and job searching.  Ella Yerger, '23 is studying environmental sustainability and sustainable urban development using ethical perspectives on how that particular topic can benefit humanity.  Mary Grace Thompson, '23 is focused on the ethical implications of international relations. Kate Harrington is focused on ethical literacy and education, and Sarah Roth, '23 is channeling her past years of research into a combination of climate change and animal rights ethics.

As Ms. Guillory stated, this group of girls will represent us well at this competition, which undoubtedly aligns with the foundation of Sacred Heart educational principles.  The competition is both competitive and collaborative, and it centers around educating oneself to gain a sense of dignity and responsibility regarding one's beliefs.  Not only that, but it encourages tackling ethical dilemmas in a community-based way.

As our Sacred Heart education teaches, division will get us nowhere.  We are taught to take initiative as a whole and to work together to bring about social change, but we are also taught to think critically and to appreciate the ambiguity inherent in many topics.  It is undeniable that these girls will be well-versed in what it take to unite and discuss ethical quandaries as they prepare for and compete in the ethics bowl, hopefully making their way to Nationals at Chapel Hill.

- Lelia Venable, '23, Editor


Meet our Editor

Lelia Venable, '23

I’m Lelia, the primary author of the ASH Honors Blog reporting on the research and work of the students in the Honors Capstone Program. I am a senior at ASH, and this is my fourth year in the Honors Program. I came to Sacred Heart my freshman year of high school, and since then, I have researched Cochlear Implants and the Deaf community, Racial Representation in Pop culture, and Poverty in America and the DIsillusionment of the American Dream. This year I am researching humanitarian journalism, and my research application is my role as the Honors blog’s content creator, which I will use to impact my school community. Last year, I was assistant editor of the Honors blog, so I have experience and knowledge regarding the blog already. I hope to bring a fresh perspective to the still newly-established Honors Blog, making it accessible, well-informed, thought-provoking, and entertaining to read.