Students ‘rock' Model UN

Published 3:20 pm Wednesday, March 29, 2006

By By MARY-ALLISON LANCASTER – Managing editor
After a grueling five months researching nations and designing intricately detailed costumes, 25 Brewton Middle School students earned top honors - including the most outstanding resolution for Mongolia - in the Southeast Alabama Model United Nations at Troy University.
SAMUN is offered through Troy University InService Center as an academic competition to encourage students in grades six to eight to learn about the United Nations and world problems.  As an enrichment unit at Brewton Middle School, teacher Teresa Lucas opened the project in October to prepare the students, representing five different countries, for the competition. 
The students began their research by studying the United Nations. After the countries were assigned, students began to explore the country and the problems that they may be experiencing.  A resolution to a world problem is then submitted to Troy University to be compiled in the Resolution Book, which becomes the focus of the project.  
Students participating in the competition are not an identified group of students, Lucas said.
Students who are not interested in writing a paper do not have to join in, Lucas said.
Various assignments are made including learning a welcome in the native language of the country, memorizing the translation in English, making a replica of the country's flag, writing and presenting a persuasive speech to encourage other delegates to support your country's resolution. 
Students and parents design and make native costumes. While costumes are a big part of the competition, Lucas said her focus is on the research and the &#8220guts” of the competition.
Prior to attending the competition, a Faire of Nations is held at BMS as a practice with food that is prepared to reflect the culture of each country.  Decorations, costumes and cuisine make it a cultural extravaganza. 
Lucas said the Faire is an &#8220eating thing.” But when the kids travel to Troy University, it's not about eating dishes, it's about the academics.
The competition was hosted at Troy University with BMS students taking many of the top awards.  With 31 different countries represented at SAMUN, BMS has a lot to be proud of.