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Program teaches global skills

Andrew Copley and Justin Wright stood at the podium, waiting as a clamor of voices discussed their proposal.

Sunday, December 16, 2001

Andrew Copley and Justin Wright stood at the podium, waiting as a clamor of voices discussed their proposal.

Seconds later, the debate ended. And they lost.

That was the name of the game at Friday’s Model U.N., though. As students representing dozens of foreign countries sat for the mock United Nations session, they debated well-researched proposals and voted for those they favored.

"It’s a lot of fun," Andrew said, adding that he has learned a lot about different foreign countries. Last year, he represented Brazil.

Justin said he likes getting to know other students.

The Model U.N. is held by the gifted education programs of seventh- and eighth-grades in county schools – at Rock Hill, Fairland and Chesapeake.

"They do a lot of research to prepare them, then choose a problem that a country is experiencing today," said Trena Haynes, Rock Hill’s gifted education coordinator.

The Model U.N. offers students cross-curricular activities – social studies, reading, writing, history and even math, Haynes said.

Students write resolutions, like how to deal with a country’s poverty or a region’s resources, then submit it for all the other students to review. On the day of the Model U.N., the resolutions are read, debated and voted on.

Some of Friday’s resolutions were: turning Afghanistan into a territory of the U.S., switching China’s energy to hydroelectric power instead of fossil fuels, creating a biosphere on the moon to help fight global hunger, and disposing of the world’s 12 million tons of daily garbage by sending it via rocket to Venus.

One resolution Haynes said she was particularly proud of was her students’ idea to share international intelligence data.

The students, representing Israel, researched the problem because it’s currently a topic of international concern due to terrorism, and formed their own proposal, she said.

This program’s successful not only for education but also for the impact the ideas have on the future, she added.

"I’ve had students tell me today that they’d like to be a speechwriter, or a politician."

Casey Baker, OU student from Proctorville who served as moderator, sort of like UN secretary general Koffi Annan, agreed with the teacher.

By finding out about specific problems faced by different cultures, they learn more about themselves and their place in the world, and come up with some unique solutions, Baker said.

MODEL UN AWARDS

Outstanding delegates from Chesapeake: Derrick Moore, Derrick Barnett and Melissa Henson.

Outstanding delegates from Fairland: Brent Kidd, Sara Emerick and Ronnie Wooten.

Outstanding delegates from Rock Hill: Tessa Stamper, Anthony Webb, Ashley Davis and Sarah Glenn.

Outstanding Resolutions: Japan (Emma Baker, Sara Hatfield of Fairland), United Kingdom (Trenton Gorby, Carl Hamlin, Daniel Heck, Alan Maynard, Sarah Rucker, Elijah Wise, Ronnie Wooten of Fairland) and Burkina Faso (Derrick Moore, Derrick Barnett of Chesapeake).

Outstanding Countries: Djibouti (Thomas Rice, Melissa Henson, Ryan Maynor of Chesapeake), Nepal (Ashley Davis, Hannah Travis, Emily Ruth, Caitlin Lowe, Katie Roberts, Kelsey Harris, Sarah Glenn, Hannah Fuhr, Jessica Drake of Rock Hill), and Netherlands (Marie Stewart, Sara Emerick, Rachel Barnette of Fairland).