Kids, Practice those Speeches!

Debates are a fundamental part of American politics, a tradition if you will. Sometimes they are under the glaring light of public scrutiny, as they should be. They should help us make better decisions about our candidate of choice. We are in the midst of them right now during the presidential primaries. We have had our fill to date. We hope that kids are taking note of the process and are internalizing what is inherent in the system that is positive to help prepare them as future citizens of the republic. The debates get a lot of media attention and analysis and this helps kids focus on what is valuable in all the verbiage and why should they care. It is all about exposing views and values to the clear light of day.

There are many lessons to learn, not the least of which is how a debate is conducted with views aired on all sides of a given question. A great school exercise if for them to create their own versions, not necessarily on the candidates, but on any topic. Why not make it practical. In my home, I need to buy a new air purifier for a large family room. I assigned the task of selecting the best ones to the whole family so they could look at pros and cons. It would show them that a debate is much more than a political strategy but that the concepts can be applied to any matter at hand. We decided to debate the Austin model since it is on our list of top brands.

The kids started with learning the basics. The Austin Air HealthMate Jr provides 4 stages of intense filtration to rid air of the allergens, bacteria, viruses, odors, smoke, and chemical vapors that assail us every day. Built with over 30 square feet of True HEPA filter media, and 6.5 lbs. of granular, activated carbon/zeolite, the HealthMate Jr. significantly improves air quality in small to medium-size rooms, providing relief for allergy and asthma sufferers. Long-life HEPA saves on filter replacements.  Casters are optionally available.

Having absorbed the basic specifications, the k ids decided to debate the HEPA filter. While on the pro side it is efficient and effective and has a long life, on the con, it does need replacement from time to time adding to the total air purifier cost. Also on the con side, some HEPA air-purifier models use an electrostatic precipitator remove pollutant particles by charging them as they pass through and collecting them on an oppositely charged metal plate or filter. In the process, they produce some ozone as a byproduct. This is considered undesirable and unhealthy. And they might soil the walls by depositing some pollutant particles on them.

The debate praised the Austin, but also revealed some flaws. It showed that nothing is perfect and that you have to make choices based on the lesser of a few evils. At least, after a debate, you have more clarity about the topic, as with the presidential candidates where we perhaps knew more than we cared to or thought possible.