Eleven-year-old Duncan Weals of Bethesda, was representing North Korea at the model United Nations at Cold Spring Elementary.
“It makes us feel like we’re important people doing important things,” Weals said.
Delegates to the model UN, mostly 5th graders, were learning lessons about civics and the environment.
The event was set up like a UN conference on environmental issues. Students analyzed such topics as the rainforest, biodiversity and fossil fuels.
“We actually discuss each of the issues as part of the 5th grade science curriculum,” said Mary Darling, 5th grade teacher at the school.
The students selected a different country to represent. “They started out by doing research on their country,” Darling said.
Besides the initial, general topics, they had to research that country in terms of it’s own environmental issues. “We figured out what problems our country had and applied that,” said Geoffrey Litt, 10. Litt represented Japan at the conference.
As a capstone to the project, the students spent several hours on May 7 debating the issues. “It makes us see what kind of role the UN plays,” Litt said.