Penn Charter advanced to the semifinal round of the regional High School Ethics Bowl on Nov. 17 at Villanova University but lost a hard-fought semifinal round to the eventual regional champs.

Twenty teams from the tri-state area participated in the annual competition in which students discuss timely real-life ethical issues. Unlike a debate where teams are assigned opposing views, in each Ethics Bowl round, teams take turns analyzing ethical cases and responding to questions from another team and a panel of judges. For example, PC team members discussed ethical issues surrounding gerrymandering, the redrawing of electoral district boundaries based primarily on political consideration.

Ed Marks, Penn Charter social studies teacher and co-coach of the PC team with English teacher Philip Stevens, said Penn Charter participated in a total of five rounds at Villanova, each approximately 50 minutes long. The competition, Marks said, “is the intellectual equivalent of two or three back-to-back basketball games. The kids were exhausted but happy and proud to have made it to the semifinal round.”

After the morning round, Penn Charter finished in eighth place and advanced to the quarterfinals, where PC defeated the first place finisher from the morning round, Bishop Eustace High School. PC lost a semifinal round to eventual regional champ, Conestoga High School.

Congratulations to the PC Ethics Bowl team: Mark Behrand, Nick Djerassi, Anastasia Lewis, Will Lewis, Page Proctor, Sabrina Shaffer and Blake Tran.