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Lyman Moore Leads Model U.N. Conference Effort

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Lyman Moore Leads Model U.N. Conference Effort
Posted on 05/27/2021
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Lyman Moore Middle School is spearheading an effort to hold a Model United Nations conference for middle schools during the next school year.

Moore’s Model United Nation’s team held a small, hybrid pilot conference this year, chaired by Bates College Model U.N. student leaders.  “The plan is to roll out the conference to other middle schools next year and have the conference take place in person,” said social studies teacher David Hilton, who co-chairs the Moore Model United Nations Team with English teacher Tyler Jellison.

Hilton explained that the club has been in existence about 10 years and Moore school students used to attend a three-day, two-night conference at the University of Southern Maine, competing and collaborating with students from around the state. “It was a highlight of the middle school experience for our students,” Hilton said. However, in 2020, the conference decided to limit participation to high school students, he said.

“Since that time,” Hilton said, “we've been trying to find a path forward for the team. Last year we connected with the United Nations of Greater Boston for advice and they guided us to a fall conference in Boston. There are no other Model UN conferences in Maine. We bused down to Northeastern with our team and had a great experience, but it was one day, instead of three, and didn't feel like a culmination.”

Next, he said, “we started working on another plan, reaching out to Colby, Bates, and Bowdoin to see about their interest in hosting a middle school conference. That led us to connect with Miles Nabritt, the student Model UN Club leader at Bates. We started working with him to plan an in-person conference for May 2020. COVID intervened and we had to cancel plans.”

However, Hilton said, Nabritt “was extremely persistent and continued to meet with us all throughout the pandemic. We forged ahead and planned a hybrid conference chaired by Bates student leaders. Miles and his team organized the conference, prepared the materials, and chaired the sessions over Zoom. Our students met May 16 in person at Lyman Moore to participate. No other schools were able to join us.”

Although small, Hilton said, the conference was a huge success. “We had 15 students come together to tackle child labor and genetic engineering, representing 15 nations in a problem-solving effort. They successfully passed two resolutions. They also got a virtual tour of Bates, a Q & A about college with the student leaders, and ice cream afterward. The students were remarkable in their curiosity and insight. The Bates student leaders were incredibly well prepared and generous with their time and responsiveness.”

The plan now is for an in-person conference during the 2021-2022 school year, with other middle schools also participating, Hilton said.

PHOTO (below): Lyman Moore Middle School students debate the issues of child labor and genetic engineering during a Model U.N. Conference for middle schoolers held in hybrid mode on May 16.

Moore Model UN photo