Taking on the world – as middle schoolers

The Mentor High School Model U.N. team helps the middle schoolers from Shore and Memorial learn the ropes of Model UN


Sarah Blakemore

Mentor middle schoolers raise their placards to participate in our annual middle school MUN conference.

Ella Paine, Contributor

The future of our nation gathered on the Fine Arts Center Stage on March 29th to learn about the United Nations. Model United Nations, that is.

The Model United Nations is a simulation of the United Nations in New York City. Students portray ambassadors of different countries to solve real world problems with the perspective of the country they are representing. Middle schoolers from Memorial and Shore participated in a practice Model UN conference so when they participate in their own conference in April – and later on reach the high school level – they have knowledge of and experience with rules and tactics that are needed in an actual conference. 

The March conference also exposes them to the world of international affairs, as Mrs. Compton, advisor for Shore Jr. Model UN, told us.

“They’ll be more aware of current events and what is going on in the world,” Compton said, “more articulate when they speak. They’re finding themselves and their self confidence.”

By participating in Model UN, students are able to become more conscious of what’s going on in the world, and they are able to discover who they are.  

To prepare, Mentor’s Model UN team worked diligently to arrange this conference to reflect current real world events. The topics chosen to be discussed were “Nuclear Proliferation in Asian Countries” and the “De-escalation of the Ukrainian-Russian Conflict.” By choosing these topics, the middle schoolers were able to use their pre-existing knowledge of the events to their advantage. These topics also had great feedback with the middle schoolers.

“I really liked the topics and the committees,” says Noni Arndt of Shore. “I find the DISEC committee so interesting.”

These topics also made the MUN team make careful decisions, especially in the seating charts (Ukraine and Russia did not sit next to each other during this event!) Prior to the conference the students had to conduct research on two topics and present on why they think one should be discussed over the other. During the conference, students chose to discuss the current conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Students represented a variety of countries from Europe, Asia, and North America that are all in the actual United Nations. The delegates came to an agreement on the situation and created two resolutions; a detailed and outlined solution to the problem at hand. 

By partaking in this mock conference, middle schoolers are able to make mistakes and learn valuable lessons as a delegate.

“The event also provides an opportunity for my students to make their mistakes,” said Memorial advisor Mr. Markijohn,” learn from the high school students about how to do everything the right way, and put it into practice at our official conference.”

By giving middle schoolers a chance to figure out the ropes of Model UN before going to an actual conference, it allowed them to not only have a better understanding of what is going on during the conference, but also a one-up on the competition. 

Overall, this mock conference allowed Mentor middle schoolers to learn the ropes of a Model UN conference and what has to be completed to prepare. This experience gives students the ability to become deeply involved in the world of international affairs, helps them become aware of current events, improves speaking skills, helps them find out who they are, and learn how to portray a different perspective. On the Fine Arts stage a group of middle schoolers did not just become a group of delegates, but the future leaders of our world.