GasTerra's 2017 Debating Battle for vocational education students


A contest full of enthusiastic debaters with surprising answers

Experiencing the 'youth of today' in action is amazing; and we are not talking about a Dutch rap group with that name but about students from different pre-vocational secondary schools in and around Groningen who have been embroiled in a debating contest with each other. The motions for debate concerned sustainability, energy savings and today's news. A little shy to begin with and sounding each other out, you could see the contestants blossom when, after a couple of arguments, their supporters were standing on the benches. It is sometimes pretty difficult to argue why you would nót be in favour of the environment or why you would be against shorter shower time. But there were often some surprising answers from the enthusiastic debaters.

The battles were held in the Groninger Forum on 12 and 13 April 2017, under the strict supervision of the chairman and under the watchful eye of an expert jury. The three final winners of the Debating Battle went home with a tablet each knowing that they had won their place in the 'hall of fame'.

The participating classes carried out a lot of preparatory work during the months prior to the debating battle. They received lessons in the art of debating from Kalliope, the Groninger Debating Society. GasTerra employees Ellen Ringnalda, Thijs van Hittersum, Ronald Lockhorn, Peter Meeuwis, Niels van Minnen, Sjaak Schuit and Martijn Vegter also gave energy lessons to the participating schools. It is nice to see the adults of the future already concerned with topics such as energy savings and sustainability. The ideas and answers emerging from these lessons are refreshing and sometimes surprisingly inventive.

Besides the annual debating battle, GasTerra is also involved in many more educational projects and activities, varying from the "Your Energy of the Future" truck to supporting studies and research initiatives at the University of Groningen and the Hanze University of Applied Sciences.