Students from East Mountain High School in Sandia Park have advanced to the “Top 32” round of the International Public Policy Forum (IPPF).

Sponsored by the Brewer Foundation and New York University, the IPPF is the first and only debate competition that gives high school students around the world the opportunity to engage in written and oral debates on issues of public policy.

By advancing, the students remain eligible to win a $10,000 grand prize and an all-expenses-paid trip to the IPPF Finals in New York City on April 2, 2016.

This year, hundreds of teams submitted qualifying round essays on the topic, “Resolved: Genetically modified organisms are essential to global food security.” Those essays were reviewed by a committee, which determined the “Round of 64” teams.

In that round, East Mountain advanced over Shenzhen Academy of International Education from Shenzhen, China.

The “Top 32” round begins immediately. East Mountain will compete against Gimnazija Bežigrad from Ljubljana, Slovenia. The top 32 teams represent schools from 19 U.S. states. The teams come from five countries, including the United States, Slovenia, and China.

The prevailing teams will be announced on January 26, and will compete in the “Sweet 16” round. On February 29, the “Elite 8” teams will be announced. Those teams will travel to New York City on an all-expenses-paid trip to the IPPF Finals in New York City.

The Finals will take place April 2.

Visit the IPPF at, on Facebook at /ippfdebate, or on Twitter at @IPPF1.