Lincoln Middle School in Edwardsville has a group of students who, as part of a competitive team, are learning a lot about how the United Nations functions in foreign affairs.
Model United Nations is an academic competitive team at Lincoln Middle School and is a simulation of the United Nation's system.
Lincoln Principal Steve Stuart said: “We participate with other middle and junior high schools in the region, and attend the Triad Invitational Model United Nations in February to present and debate our position papers with other member schools. Students assume the roles of delegates to the United Nations and debate current issues on the U.N.'s agenda. Model UN students seek to find ways the world community can deal with complex global problems.”
He said the organization is prestigious with chapters at both the high school and collegiate levels.
“Membership at the middle school level helps students prepare for the more rigorous and rewarding high school organization,” the principal said.
Model UN members meet every Friday from September through February to discuss, prepare, and present position papers before final competition and judging. Membership in Model UN this year has almost doubled, with 27 students representing the nations of the Russian Federation, Norway, United Arab Emirates, Bulgaria, India and Vietnam. Their position papers include the sovereignty of nations, chemical warfare, equalized primary education and the future of space security.
Stephanie Lysakowski, an eighth-grade teacher, has been the team’s coach for the past three years.
The team is competing today and Friday at the Gateway Center in Collinsville against other schools.
Lysakowski said she enjoys her teaching role and her focus is helping students become more aware of the world around them.
“There is a lot to it,” she said. “These kids are amazing. When you think about them being 12, 13 and 14 years old and watch them in a conference, it makes you believe they are future world leaders. It is eye opening and the kids really learn a lot and have to like it or they wouldn’t keep it up. They work all year starting in September for the conference in February.