Forensics Students Win International Global Tourism Summit

Forensics Hawaii Competition

Forensics, Syosset High School’s speech and debate team, continued its successful record in public speaking with the recent win of two seniors at an all-expenses-paid international competition in Hawaii.

Diya Chadha and Malini Rudra were selected by the Hawaii Tourism Authority to represent mainland USA at the 2018 International Global Tourism Summit in Honolulu Oct. 1-3. 

High school debaters from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Hawaii and one team from New Jersey debated the resolution that the use of Artificial Intelligence in the tourism industry will improve the visitor experience. Students had to prepare and defend cases that both affirmed and negated the resolution in debates before panels of judges. 

Many of the 2,000 members of the tourism industry from 32 countries who attended the Summit watched the final round featuring the two teams with the best records from preliminary rounds of competition as Team USA, Diya and Malini, negated the resolution and defeated Team Taiwan. 

The students summed up their experience this way: “Having debated at different tournaments across the east coast, debating in Hawaii was new and very exciting. We are so glad to have met so many fantastic high school debaters from around the world. And as public speakers, we got a special kick out of having the keynote speaker at the conference be Sophia, a robot.”

Forensics coach/advisor Lydia Esslinger nominated her debate captains Diya and Malini in a letter of recommendation accompanied by the girls’ record as partners in competitions closer to home. “I always say, join Forensics, see the world,“ she said. “Although the team travels widely throughout the USA, mainlanders never compete in Hawaii. I wanted the girls to have the opportunity to visit the state farthest from us New Yorkers, engage in conversation about the increasingly important issues surrounding AI, and meet their peers from other countries. It was a wonderful experience, thanks to the generosity of the Hawaii Tourism Authority.”