MEDIA ALERT

For Release: 06-02-15

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

URL: www.philosophyslam.org


Press Release:
For Immediate Release: 06-02-15
Contact: John Davis, 507-467-0102, thekidsphilosophyslam@gmail.com

Lanesboro, MN New York high school student Harshil Garg is crowned "The Most Philosophical Student in America" and winner of the 2015 National Kids Philosophy Slam.


Violence or compassion: Which has a greater impact on society? Harshil Garg, from Bethpage High School in Bethpage, New York, won the 15th annual National Kids Philosophy Slam by successfully arguing that compassion has a greater impact on society and earned the title of "The 2015 Most Philosophical Student in America".

The 2015 National Kids Philosophy Slam challenged students from around the country to answer the question: "Compassion or Violence: 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 Harshil Garg as the winner of the 15th annual National Kids Philosophy Slam. For this philosophical effort, Harshil Garg received $250, a framed certificate and the title of "The 2015 Most Philosophical Student in America."


Garg writes in the winning essay, “ ... fear manifests itself as a foundation for violence. Although outwardly impenetrable, striking fearing the hearts of men is not infallible; eventual collapse to compassion is inevitable. Then Garg builds on the argument “Violence catalyzes the realization of compassion. It shows us that although seldom apparent, violence simply accelerates the understanding of compassion. It creates an inextricably linked chain, but violence is never the answer. It is simply a transformable, less powerful lack of compassion.” Harshil Garg concludes with the powerful statement, “Through the burnt embers, compassion will arise again, stronger. But unlike violence, compassion will strike a chord with us, and its melodious, resounding sound, can never be unheard.”

Kristen Hoffman of New York was the 2nd place winner of the National Kids Philosophy Slam. In her winning essay, she boldly states violence has a greater impact on society, “Violence has become part of our daily lives, the news we watch, the movies and television we see, the music we sing-along to, and the statements we make, most of things produced today are cringe-worthy and people laugh, sing-along, or watch repeatedly.” Hoffman concludes by stating, “Through the burnt embers, compassion will arise again, stronger. But unlike violence, compassion will strike a chord with us, and its melodious, resounding sound, can never be unheard.”

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 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 2015 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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