October 2022

Model UN

Model UN Training Conference for Local Students

Hosted by Mount Madonna School

By Lisa Martin

Model UN is found in a handful of schools in the region, but there is an opportunity to expand this offering by helping students learn the academic and debate skills needed for successful MUN participation.

On October 8, 2022, Mount Madonna School (MMS) will host a one-day Model United Nations (Model UN or MUN) Training Conference, with a singular purpose: introducing Model UN to students, grades 6-12, and developing a network of schools interested in bringing this exceptional educational program to more schools and students in the region.

Model UN is found in a handful of schools in the region, but there is an opportunity to expand this offering by helping students learn the academic and debate skills needed for successful MUN participation. From this foundation, additional regional conferences can be organized.

This training conference is open to middle and high school students, including those who are homeschooling. Participants will be separated into two tracks during the skill-building component of the conference. Conference organizers will provide an orientation to Model UN, skill-building workshops on research techniques, speech writing and public speaking, and will conclude with a mock debate.

Participants will hear from an expert on regional sustainable agricultural practices so that they can understand how the larger global issue of sustainable agricultural practices occurs in our own community. Certificates of participation will be provided.
Mount Madonna School is requesting $20 per student, but if this fee presents a challenge, please contact me at (408) 846-4029 or [email protected] to discuss; Mount Madonna School’s goal is to make this conference possible for as many local students as possible.

Model UN is practiced by close to half a million middle, high school and university students around the world each year. It is a popular and engaging way to learn about complex global issues. In a MUN simulation, students assume the role of a diplomat of a foreign country and look at an issue or problem through the lens of their “adopted” country. Students then work together to forge consensus around a resolution that addresses the issue. It is both highly academic and inherently social, making it a fun way to learn about complex, multi-faceted issues.

Skill Development
Public speaking and debate are most commonly associated with MUN participation, but there are other academic and soft skills that grow through Model UN participation. To successfully participate in MUN delegates must know their issue well, understand multiple perspectives, argue their point of view and be open to compromise. These include highly targeted research, writing policy briefs and resolutions, working towards consensus, active listening, negotiation and advocacy. This skill development occurs while exploring real-world issues like climate change, food security, gender equality and equal access to justice. Participants take deep dives into these content areas while simultaneously developing the skills needed to convey a particular viewpoint and find consensus that drives real solutions.

Action and Impact
Mount Madonna School’s MUN program focuses on the ways in which global issues play out in our region. A larger discussion on water scarcity and climate change has very real impacts on agriculture and tourism in the Monterey Bay region. Model UN can drive awareness and action on these issues by pointing students in the direction of key stakeholders and most importantly how they can be involved in actively creating change in their own communities.

Lisa Martin is the lower school director at Mount Madonna School and is actively involved in the school’s Sustainable Development Goals initiative. She has spent the majority of her career overseas, teaching in the Middle East and southeast Asia. She has led a number of Model UN organizations and is an advocate for open, accessible global education opportunities for youth. She currently lives in her hometown of Watsonville.
Use this QR code to register for the conference:

Mount Madonna School Model UN Training Conference | Zero Hunger and Ensuring Sustainable Agriculture | October 8, 2022

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