Students prepare to be delegates at Topeka Model United Nations

A group of Newton students is already hard at work in preparation to be delegates at the Topeka Model United Nations (Model UN) simulation on Feb. 29 and March 1.

These 11 students, who will be representing the countries of Algeria, Belgium, Bolivia and Malaysia, are collaborating to write position papers that explain their country’s stance on global issues and draft resolutions that propose their solutions to these issues.

“They look online and they decide what most interests them. Then, they have to write their paper or particular resolution based on what their country would be thinking and their country’s position on whatever issue, social or economic, that they are going to have to address,” extended learning program coordinator Shari Sloan said.

Sloan said the Model UN will be a valuable experience for students to practice viewing global issues from a different perspective and being objective, all while interacting with students from other Kansas high schools.
However, a lot of behind-the-scenes work goes into preparing for the conference. Students had to show they were dedicated and had an interest before being selected to participate.

“Students had to have an interest and they had to write and say why they thought they would be doing a good job at (Model UN). They are usually really good students.”

Junior Kailei Sidebottom has been involved in Model UN since eighth grade, and said the simulation has taught her delegation and problem-solving skills.
“I decided to participate because it’s such a fun experience to be able to learn about different countries and how they view the United Nations,” Sidebottom said.
Newton delegates will continue to meet weekly to expand their research in the time leading up to the Topeka conference.

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