The News of The Blake School Since 1916

The Spectrum

The News of The Blake School Since 1916

The Spectrum

The News of The Blake School Since 1916

The Spectrum

Minneapolis


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Model UN Takes On D.C.

29 students explore Washington D.C., Georgetown
Model+UN+ventures+to+the+capitol+building+to+get+an+inside+look+at+where+senators+debate.
Model UN ventures to the capitol building to get an inside look at where senators debate.

A visit to the country’s capitol over Presidents Day Weekend. The trip seems distinctly American, but this year’s Model United Nations conference in Washington D.C. featured topics across all regions and timelines. As part of the North American Invitational Model United Nations (NAIMUN) conference, 29 students across all four grades participated in the four-day conference from Feb. 15 to Feb. 18. Featuring a wide range of committees from General Assemblies to the British House of Commons to a simulation of the Boxer Rebellion in 1899, students tackled global issues through debate, writing, and collaboration. “Model UN is a really unique and rich experience for students who are interesting in social studies to really live it out in a play-acting and interdisciplinary way,” PK-12 Social Studies Department Chair Beth Calderone said. “You’re that much better to be able to speak and write about world issues and things that you care about because you are steeped in this way of thinking about international crises and moments in the world that are real.”

Being in D.C. also provided the group with time to explore famous landmarks and historical buildings. Chaperoned by Model UN teacher leader Dana Specht, social studies teacher David Zalk, and Calderone, the group visited the Washington Monument, the Library of Congress, and the National Archives, where America’s founding documents are held. In fact, the group was lucky enough to gain gallery passes to visit the House chamber, where they listened in to speeches by some representatives. A small section of students obtained passes to a Supreme Court session and were able to witness judicial proceedings. Michelle Elliott ‘25 described her experience at the Court as, “impressive… It was really cool being in a place where I’d learned so much about in school.” Elliot participated in the African Union conference in a double delegation with Uma Bastodkar ‘25 where they debated natural resources. “I got a lot closer with some of my friends because we were spending 24/7 together,” Elliott said. “I saw that we were able to work together in ways that we don’t really get to see each other work at school.”

Model UN is becoming a more popular activity, and Calderone said that over three thousand students attended the NAIMUN conference over the weekend. In fact, the activity has grown in middle school as well. “I have a hope that the program grows upstream into the middle school,” Calderone said. “We had started a club in the last couple of years… we’re hoping to make it a more permanent staple starting next year again so that there will be a pipeline into the Upper School Model UN club… maybe even building in some Model UN-like simulations into a curriculum in middle school such that all students have a little taste of what that feels like coming into the Upper School.”

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About the Contributor
Evan Vezmar
Evan Vezmar, Editor Emeritus
Hi, my name is Evan Vezmar, and I'm a senior. I began writing for Spectrum in my freshman year as a staff writer and became an editor in 10th grade. Last semester, I was a Managing Editor and the Opinions Editor. My favorite part of Spectrum is being able to give a voice to people who may not be able to through the news. In my free time, I like to read, play the piano, and fence.

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