Thousands of Iowa students will sharpen their communication skills today in the Iowa High School Speech Association Tournament. Craig Ihnen, executive director of the group, says more than 20-thousand youth from 357 schools are taking part in 15 Iowa locations. They’re taking part in nine theatrical categories, including: mime, one-act play, group improv and T-V newscasting. The traditional debate-style tournament was held two weekends ago. Ihnen says taking part in this sort of competition teaches students lessons they may never learn in a classroom.Ihnen says this tournament offers Iowa high school students an opportunity to build on character traits they’ll use their whole lives.The bulk of the competitions run from 8 A-M to 5 P-M today and all are open to the public in sites including: Des Moines, Ankeny, Clarke, Audubon, Okoboji, River Valley, Fort Dodge, Woodbury, Grundy Center, Ventura, Decorah, Monticello, Danville, Montezuma and Clinton.