Middle schoolers participate in Model UN

All in-person and virtual SIGMA students at Pattonville Heights Middle School participated in Model UN virtual sessions this week hosted by Civitas. Today, the eighth graders taught by gifted teacher Lori Kappler met with 80 other students from area schools to participate in a mock UN General Assembly. Gifted students taught by Christina Elkins at Holman Middle School also participated in the event.

Model UN is an activity in which students typically roleplay delegates to the United Nations and simulate UN committees. It challenges students to develop and utilize their research, public speaking, debate, and writing skills, as well as their critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership abilities. 

Three students from Heights were selected to present their resolutions to the committee: In-person students Claire Herter (France) and Gabrielle Hurd (Uruguay) and Villemade student Omolara Ogunmola (Norway).

Kappler has been working with students all year on this project. 

“We start in the fall by choosing countries and continue with it on and off all year,” she said. "It’s a whole year program because they have to research their countries first and then they have to research world problems.  They also work with Civitas representatives several times during the year to learn resolution writing and the workings of a UN General Assembly.” 

Model UN is a competition, but it is also meant to be fun and constructive. 

Jessica Bae chose Thailand and did a lot of research about the country. 

“We have to find millions of problems, and from those millions of problems, we have to pick one problem in the country that we choose to research,” she said. “We have to find out how much funding it will take to fix it, what resources we have and what resources we will need, and find out what organizations we have to help us. It’s just a lot of work." 

Bae chose to focus on torture being used in Thailand. 

“Within the military and the police, there's a lot of people who are beating up civilians or raping them for no reason so I tried to find ways to prevent that from happening,” she said. “In my research, I found there were 74 documented cases of that stuff from 2013 to 2014, and those are the documented cases, so there's probably more undocumented cases, and I just don't want that to happen in Thailand anymore.”

Kappler admired the work all of the students were doing during the three hour General Assembly. 

“Look how good they are at what they are doing.”

Full slideshow: https://pattonvillesd.smugmug.com/2020-2021/HTS-Model-UN/

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