March 30, 2023
Model U.N. for Middle Schoolers Teaches Collaboration and Critical Thinking
KOMUN, Kingswood Oxford’s Model UN for Middle Schools, was held in March and attracted several teams in grades 6, 7, and 8 interested in global issues and challenges vexing the world. Model UN allows students to hone their public speaking and debate skills while they use their expertise to build coalitions and pass resolutions.
This year’s topic was “Regulating the Internet” and was chosen for several reasons. First, the dangers of unregulated speech on the internet have become increasingly apparent. The ease of transmitting information anywhere in an instant with a simple keystroke has produced dangerous unintended consequences. These include election interference, hate speech, conspiracy-mongering, and other criminal activity. In addition, the internet gives its providers troves of otherwise private information. As with any new technology (the internet only became widespread around 1996), the law must address these problems. Besides being topical, internet use relates to many other issues facing the world today — freedom of speech, education, warfare, cyber-crime, democracy, human rights, and even mental health.
Our long-time event organizer, Stacey Savin provided the students with a 21-page overview of the issue and 28 focus questions. The student/delegate’s task was to devise guidelines for this new internet agenda and pose as many suggestions as possible. Over the past several months, students researched internet access and censorship status as a delegate of their assigned country to ready themselves for the forum. Our KO chairs helped steer the delegates down interesting avenues. As always, the representatives helped frame the day’s discussion by educating one another on the internet-related impacts in each of their respective countries.
KO students showed their debating skills and worked collaboratively with the other delegates in attendance. Congratulations to all the students who participated, particularly our students who earned Outstanding Delegates, Saaya Maru, USA, Form 2, Daniel Rivera, Turkey, Form 2, Anay Sahu, USA, Upper Prep and Honorable Mention Delegate Evan Moray, Nigeria, Upper Prep