MEDIA ALERT

For Release: 06-03-14

Contacts: John Davis
thekidsphilosophyslam@gmail.com
507-467-0102

URL: www.philosophyslam.org


Press Release:
For Immediate Release: 06-03-14
Contact: John Davis, 507-467-0102, thekidsphilosophyslam@gmail.com

Pennsylvania high school student Yuyan Pu is crowned "The Most Philosophical Student in America" and winner of the 2014 National Kids Philosophy Slam.


Lanesboro, MN – Truth or Beauty: which has a greater impact on society? Yuyan Pu, a junior from Conestoga High School in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, won the 14th annual National Kids Philosophy Slam by successfully arguing that beauty has more of an impact on our society and earned the title of "The Most Philosophical Student in America."


The 2014 National Kids Philosophy Slam challenged students from around the country to answer the question: "Truth or Beauty: which has a greater impact on society?” The response was tremendous, with over 4,000 entries submitted from students across the nation. A panel of philosophy judges selected Yuyan Pu as the winner of the 14th annual National Kids Philosophy Slam. For her philosophical efforts, Yuyan Pu received a gold medal, $250, and the title of "The Most Philosophical Student in America."


Pu writes in her winning essay, “[Beauty is] the magnetic pull on the heartstrings that enchants the soul and powers the body. It shapes the passions that drive man to create and destroy and man’s fascination with beauty and love has been written in tomes.” She then builds her argument for beauty’s power as she draws upon such influences as Homer’s tale of Helen of Troy and quotes Descartes and Plato. She concludes with the powerful statement, “The truth is, beauty has the greater impact on society because man is ever in the pursuit of making the world more beautiful. While the truth tells the impossibility of touching the peaks of the infinite sky, the beauty of the heavenly bodies still keeps man reaching for the stars.”


Yuyan Pu is a junior at Conestoga High School where she actively participates in numerous extracurricular activities like Junior State of America, Investment Club, Future Business Leaders of America, Speech and Debate, and Model UN. Once only passionate about politics, Yuyan recently developed a strong interest in philosophy thanks to her teacher John Koenig. Because of his philosophy class and club, Yuyan was able to help her Ethics Bowl team reach the semi-finals in the regional competition, just two places away from competing in the National High School Ethics Bowl. Besides philosophy and politics, she also enjoys reading about other social sciences like economics and psychology, especially the controversial theories that exist in each.


Melissa Delgado of New York was the 2nd place winner of the National Kids Philosophy Slam. In her winning essay, she discusses her knowledge of truth and beauty and states, “In the eyes of this middle class sixteen year old girl who is yet to experience most of the world, beauty is the true winner in this argument. If finding a real definition for truth for me is difficult, while I could write novels about the word beauty, then society has clearly focused much more on one than the other.”

The Mission of the National Kids Philosophy Slam is to give kids a voice and to inspire kids to think by unlocking their intellectual and creative potential through a unique and powerful philosophical forum. This unique program allows kids to grapple with life's big issues in an accessible format, as younger students answer philosophical questions through artwork, poetry and music. The Kids Philosophy Slam Program creator, John P. Davis, also created Nationally recognized Great American Think-Off, which was designed to make philosophy accessible to the everyday person in a fun sports-type format. The Kids Philosphy Slam is sponsored in part by the Lanesboro Arts Center in Lanesboro, MN.


The Kids Philosophy Slam has attracted nationwide media coverage, including the NBC Today Show, National Public Radio, The New York Times, TIME Magazine for Kids, The National Education Association and the Christian Science Monitor. The 2012 National Kids Philosophy Slam also selected national philosophy winners in Kindergarten through the eighth grade.


Media: To review the finalists’ winning essays and background information, visit: http://www.philosophyslam.org/prizes. To secure National Philosophy Slam interviews with finalists, or winners in any grade level, contact John Davis at 507-467-0102 or email at thekidsphilosophyslam@gmail.com.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Global warming not the greatest challenge facing humankind as
Washington D.C. area high school student Meghan Nelson is named the winner of the 2008 National Kids Philosophy Slam.


Lanesboro, MN - Is global warming the greatest challenge facing humankind? Meghan Nelson, age 16, from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology won the eighth annual National Kids Philosophy Slam by successfully arguing that global warming was not the greatest challenge facing humankind and earned the title of "The Most Philosophical Student in America".

The 2008 National Kids Philosophy Slam challenged students from around the country to answer the question: "Is global warming the greatest challenge facing humankind?" The response was tremendous, with over 5,000 entries submitted from students across the nation and from around the world. By an overwhelming 3-1 margin, most students did not think that global warming was the greatest challenge facing humankind. A panel of philosophy judges selected Meghan Nelson as the winner of the eighth annual Kids Philosophy Slam and "Most Philosophical Student in America".

Nelson writes in her winning essay "Global warming, if we continue in our usual passive ways, will eventually overwhelm the precious environment...This still is not humanity’s greatest challenge. It is not global warming which will be the ultimate undoing of mankind, but our alarming lethargy and passiveness to take a stand against it. Global warming is simply a side effect, the enemy is us, and we must overcome our apathy. This formidable lethargy, from not only being isolated from the environment but also not working to pinpoint and correct the major causes of global warming, will cause humankind to continue on its path to disappear".

Meghan Nelson currently is a junior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Virginia. Her favorite subjects are history, any
sciences but especially biology, and of course philosophy. Meghan is a member of the Environmental Impact Club, and in her free time she reads and plays the piano.

Daniel Leef, 16, of Raleigh, North Carolina, was the 2nd place winner of National Kids Philosophy Slam. Leef based his argument that global warming was not the greatest challenge facing humankind citing the philosophy of utilitarianism of John Stuart Mill. Leef writes "Using Mill's utilitarian philosophy as our guide, I do not believe that global warming is our greatest challenge at the moment. Disease causes immediate death and suffering for many of our fellow humans. Conquering pandemic disease is the greatest challenge of our time...The third place winer was Elizabeth Soricelli, 17, from Preston High School, Bronx, New York, argued that the biggest threat to humankind was humanity itself, and the threat of nuclear weapons. Soricelli stated "Global warming is definitely not the greatest challenge facing mankind: the biggest threat to mankind is mankind. As the philosopher Bertrand Russell once said, "Either man will abolish war, or war will abolish man." The fourth place winner was Kayla Bruun, 17, and the fifth place winner was Rex Gelb, 17, both are students from The Park School of Baltimore in Brooklandville Maryland.

The National Kids Philosophy Slam provides a powerful opportunity to help kids, teachers and parents grapple with life's big issues in an accessible format. The Kids Philosophy Slam Program creator, John P. Davis, an artist and visionary, also created The Great American Think-Off, which was designed to make philosophy accessible to the everyday person in a fun sports-type format.

The Kids Philosophy Slam has attracted nationwide media coverage, including the NBC Today Show, National Public Radio, The New York Times, TIME Magazine for Kids, The National Education Association and the Christian Science Monitor.

The 2008 National Kids Philosophy Slam also selected national winners in Kindergarten through the eighth grade.


Media: To review the finalists’ winning essays and background information, visit: http://www.philosophyslam.org/press_fin.html To secure Philosophy Slam interviews with finalists, or winners in any grade level, contact John Davis at 507-467-0107or email at info@philosophyslam.org.

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