High school students from the Blake School at 511 Kenwood Pkwy., played the role of ambassadors to China, debating issues at the Model United Nations Conference in Chicago Feb. 25.
Blake is one of only five schools statewide that attended the conference. The 35 kids from Blake came from the school's Model U.N. Club and were among 1,500 U.S. students.
Conference issues included Iran's nuclear energy program, international drugs, child soldiers, intellectual property rights, international labor standards, disarmament, tsunami relief and poverty reduction. Students take a standpoint as a group. Individually, kids are appointed to various committees.
“Blake is making a concerted effort to prepare world citizens,” said club advisor and social studies teacher Randy Roberts.
He said that the Model U.N. club has become increasingly popular over the past few years. Twenty-two Blake students participated last year.
“They get some wonderful debates going. It's exciting for students and teachers,” said Roberts.
But the club isn't the school's only opportunity to get involved in world politics. The school also offers a course called Global Community geared toward juniors and seniors in which the library is transformed into the General Assembly and students perform similar mock U.N. sessions.
Students draft resolutions based on current events. They also write position papers and host press conferences. They debate based on assigned perspectives and parliamentary procedure.
For more information about Blake's Model U.N. club, contact Roberts at the Blake School, 952-988-3700.