Lufkin Middle School students are expressing their research and debate skills through Model U.N.
Sponsor Dyson Nickle said the fourth- through eighth-grade students participate as a team through the Global Elementary Model United Nations.
“We roll play the actual United Nations in May at Brookhaven College,” Nickle said. “There’s usually around 350 to almost 400 students there, and we do as many as 10 committees that are actual United Nations committees.”
The students adopted Canada, Kuwait and Equatorial New Guinea as the countries they would be representing this year.
“They have a data sheet to fill out while they’re learning about each of the three countries — what languages do they speak, what type of government do they have, so forth and so on,” he said.
Eighth-grader Hayden Futch said one of the greatest things about Model U.N. is experiencing the process of parliamentary procedure, how to agree to disagree with people, how to persuade people in a formal sense and to experience how different forms of government work.
“I went into this being a public speaker, comfortable in front of an audience,” Hayden said. “But Model U.N. has given me different perspectives from other countries and people from those countries — the totalitarian countries such as China or the struggles of living in South American countries such as Argentina, the economic issues.”
This is seventh-grader Bremiclyn Duncan’s first time to participate in Model U.N. He said he is excited to learn about debate and standing up for the things you believe in.
“I’m not really a politics person, but this makes you want to be inside the politics and understand them,” Bremiclyn said. “I’m excited to go up against people from other countries and prove what you are saying is correct and telling them they need to improve something or telling them if something they’re saying is wrong.”
Seventh-grader Patrick Butler joined Model U.N. because he thought it would be fun to learn how to argue.
“I thought it would help me out with my parents and arguing with them because I always lose,” Patrick said. “I’m excited to be able to judge people’s opinions and learn how to give my opinion and be confident.”
Sixth-grader Noah Walker said he joined because he already is pretty good at arguing, he usually wins debates with his family, and it was right up his alley.
“I think this is really going to help me out in school because we learn a lot about the different countries,” Noah said.
Noah attended a recent workshop for Model U.N. in Dallas. He said it was really good and helped him learn a lot about the process.
There are only two workshops before the general assembly for the students to practice and learn more about the process. More students will hopefully attend the workshop in January, Nickle said.
Taking these trips is expensive, and Nickle said they are looking for a sponsor to help cover costs.
Participating in Model U.N. helps students develop discipline and research skills and find their passions, Nickle said.
“A lot of these kids, their boundary is the loop of Lufkin — they never get outside of Lufkin,” he said. “To take them on to see other things and for them to study in their imagination other countries is great.”
For information on sponsoring the team, contact Nickle at email@example.com.