Ethics Bowl

Iowa High School Ethics Bowl teaches students to think through ethical issues together, as fellow citizens in a complex moral and political community.


Ethics Bowl is a competitive event, but it is also intended to promote collaboration. Students discuss real-life ethical issues, such as cheating, peer pressure, relationships, and social media. Ethics Bowl is similar to debate, but teams are not assigned to adversarial positions or required to hold fast to one perspective. Instead, they have a forum to engage in dialogue with one another, and they are judged by how well they organize and present their arguments, provide constructive criticism, and engage in thoughtful, civil exchanges. Studies show that Ethics Bowl promotes ethical awareness, critical thinking, civil discourse, civic engagement, and an appreciation for multiple points of view.

Iowa High School Ethics Bowl is a qualifying event for the annual National High School Ethics Bowl, hosted by the University of North Carolina. For more information about coaching a team, contact the organizer Kate Padgett Walsh at