On Saturday April 18th, Rowntree Montessori Schools Academy students participated in the 10th Annual Model United Nations (MUN) Conference at Appleby College in Oakville, Ontario. Together with 230 middle and high school students from all over Southern Ontario, our MUN group of student delegates from Grades 6, 7 and 8 participated and came out with flying colours!
The 10 students from RMS who participated in the conference were assigned to 7 different committees, such as NATO, World Health Organization and the United Nations Environment Program. Each student represented the interests of a different country, and negotiated with high school students from all over the GTA to resolve global issues. To make things more interesting, there was also a committee based on the Ministry of Magic from Harry Potter, and another based on the popular TV series “Under the Dome”!
Our students rigorously trained and prepared for several weeks prior to the conference. They debated various complex global issues, such as environmental issues, relieving famine in developing nations, limiting nuclear weapons throughout the world, and putting a stop to child labour, to name a few. The students skilfully navigated through question and answer periods and were often introduced to crisis scenarios in which any resolutions they had been working towards would be shut down. These scenarios included the collapse of a factory that resulted in fatal injuries, and an oil spill off the coast of Mexico that had to immediately be managed. Students adapted very well to these situations, and were able to steer through the obstacles and challenges that arose.
Throughout the conference, each committee was presented with a sudden crisis, for which they could not prepare. In one such situation, Jessica S, who was representing Myanmar, was faced with finding countries to accept millions of refugees fleeing her country. She successfully negotiated with representatives from Vietnam and China, who agreed to help support Myanmar during this crisis.
Many of our students were also directly involved in writing and presenting resolutions. Great work, team!
While for many of our veteran Grade 8 students who had in past years participated in MUN conferences, this experience was a breeze, they additionally had the opportunity to implement their leadership skills as they assisted the Grade 6s and Grade 7s throughout the research, composition and conferencing processes. RMS participation has included MUN events at Trent University, Cedar Brae Collegiate, King’s Christian Collegiate, L’Amoreaux Collegiate, and most recently, Appleby College.
In keeping with the celebrated RMS values of Responsibility, Ambition, and Teamwork, Rowntree’s MUN delegates continue to experience character-building activities that will strengthen their positions as fully contributing citizens of the future. We are very proud to know that past RMS students, including Hector, Safeeya, and Christopher, have taken their skills and interests in MUN from their experience at Rowntree through to their University years and beyond!
Our MUN coordinators are very proud of the hard work of our delegates, and for spending 10 hours of their Saturday to help make the world a better place! On behalf of RMS teachers, administrative staff, parents, and MUN Coaches, we would like to congratulate all members of this year’s Model United Nations team for their many successes!
At our upcoming Open House on Thursday May 21st, our Model United Nations delegates in Grades 6 to 8 will demonstrate the proceedings of a standard MUN committee meeting by conducting a live session as they take place at an official MUN conference. This session will be moderated by our own in-house MUN expert staff members, and attended by our delegates’ parents and Open House guests.
Please plan to join us at the RMS Academy at 6:15pm next Thursday May 21st if you are interested in learning more about the Model United Nations and seeing the skilled debating among delegates which results from thorough research on a topic and one’s ability to think on their feet as they respond and work to convince their opposition why their point of view should be considered and adopted.
More About Model United Nations
Model United Nations, also known as Model UN or MUN, is an educational simulation and/or academic competition in which students learn about diplomacy, International relations, and the United Nations. MUN involves and teaches public speaking, debating, negotiating, and writing skills, in addition to critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership abilities. Usually an extracurricular activity, some schools also offer Model UN as a class.
Participants in Model UN conferences, referred to as delegates, are placed in committees and assigned countries, or occasionally other organizations or political figures, to represent. They are presented with their assignments in advance, along with a topic or topics that their committee will discuss. Delegates conduct research before conferences and formulate positions that they will then debate with their fellow delegates in committee. At the end of a conference, the best-performing delegates in each committee are recognized with awards.
Model UN participants include students at the middle school, high school, and college/University levels, with most conferences catering to just one of these three levels (high school and college conferences being most common). Delegates usually attend conferences together as delegations sent by their respective schools’ or universities’ Model UN clubs, though some delegates attend conferences independently.
Most conferences are hosted by high school and college MUN clubs. As of 2014, there were about 400 MUN conferences worldwide. (Wikipedia, The Online Encyclopedia)
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