Each year the California Association of Resource Conservation Districts hosts a competitive "Speak Off" at their annual statewide conference in November.. Student participants are challenged to compile and organize information and present it in an engaging and effective manner to resource conservation specialists from throughout the state. Students are judged on the content and organization of their speeches, as well as their delivery skills.

High school students from local conservation districts first compete at an area competition. Winners of the area competition go on to the state competition and compete against winners from other area conservation districts. Area winners receive a plaque for participating at the state level, and 1st- 2nd- and 3rd-place winners at the state competition receive cash prizes.

The point of the Speak-Off, however, is to help all students who compete grow in their knowledge of resource issues and ability to write and present speeches. Thus, all students gain by competing. In addition, the Speak-Off contestants gain valuable experiences they can transfer to their later school and work life, and gain thinking, speaking, and research skills that will serve them throughout their lives.

For more information, see the CARCD website.


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