Students at MMUN

Butler Students Shine at the 2024 Montessori Model United Nations (MMUN) in New York City

6th years high school middle school mmun montessori model united nations Mar 23, 2024

Model United Nations (MUN) is a rite of passage for many students throughout the country and often an important milestone in their school careers. It is a beacon of experiential learning that offers students a platform to delve into the complexities of international relations while sharpening their leadership skills. Montessori Model United Nations (MMUN) is no different.

The MMUN Conference is held each year near Times Square – home of the United Nations Headquarters. Each February, hundreds of students from Montessori schools all over the world descend upon New York dressed to the nines. They are ready to take on the world through a process of debate, negotiation, and action in order to make agreements and reach resolutions. In an ongoing tradition, Butler students and chaperones joined them this year. We are happy to announce that, as always, we have had a safe and productive trip there and back!

 This year, as in many past, 6th Year students from Butler joined Intermediate students and Alumni to attend the 2024 MMUN Conference in NYC.



What does it take to participate in MMUN?

Montessori Model United Nations is modeled after the structure of actual United Nations proceedings. Students participate in committee sessions that reflect legitimate UN committees and topics. Each student researches a topic that is discussed by their committee and is then required to write and present a position paper outlining their country’s position on that topic. Topics can range from Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought to Space Threats. 

At the heart of MMUN lies the cultivation of critical thinking and diplomatic skills. Students are tasked with researching complex issues, formulating coherent arguments, and negotiating with peers to reach consensus-driven solutions. They are encouraged to synthesize knowledge from various disciplines, thus gaining a holistic understanding of global issues. This interdisciplinary approach not only enriches students' educational experiences but also equips them with a multifaceted perspective essential for addressing multifaceted challenges.

“MMUN is an invaluable learning experience for our students and an opportunity to be global citizens... It’s AMAZING and AWE-INSPIRING to see what these students can do when given the opportunity.” Jamie Chang, parent chaperone and MMUN Support.

By immersing students in the intricacies of international affairs, MMUN cultivates empathy and understanding for diverse cultures and perspectives. The conference fosters the art of diplomacy and teaches students the importance of respectful dialogue, compromise, and cooperation. Students bolster their confidence and communication skills by articulating their ideas persuasively and engaging in constructive speech.


The Conference Itself

DAY 1 – Opening Ceremony and Flag Procession: MMUN leaders and guest speakers open the conference with inspiring words, songs and speeches. Two students are chosen from each school to be flag bearers representing their countries during the Parade of Nations, which includes all 193 UN member nations. On this day, students also start to display their country boards and begin meeting other students from around the world. Check out this Parade of Nations video on MMUN’s Instagram

DAYS 2 & 3 – Committee Sessions: This is a formal process, similar to actual UN committee sessions. Students from each country are invited to present speeches so they can learn the positions of other countries, find allies, and figure out who to collaborate with. Students work together, provide suggestions for solutions, and create statements that are eventually combined and become a draft resolution for their topic. 

SPECIAL UNITED NATIONS SESSION: MMUN was granted a special session at the United Nations on Day 2 of the conference this year. UN Ambassadors and MMUN leaders spoke, and Bureau members were invited to speak on behalf of each of the committees to give updates on their committees’ progress. The students were able to sit in the General Assembly in the seats where actual UN meetings are held!

DAY 4 – Closing Ceremony: Students from each committee presented their resolutions and all student members of that committee voted on the resolutions. At the end of the MMUN Closing Ceremony, representatives from each committee summarized and voted to pass the resolutions they worked on over the past two days.

 Charley (UE) and Caitlyn (Intermediate) were chosen by their committees to speak during the closing ceremony. The session ended with a performance from the MMUN songwriting group. Emma, Caitlyn, Henry, Ethan, and Gavin collaborated and practiced repeatedly in the weeks prior to deliver an epic performance! They worked with hip-hop artist and humanitarian Chad Harper to create an original song. They (along with Myra) sang and rapped about Sustainable Development Goal #1 - No Poverty. Check out this behind the scenes Facebook video of the song


After Work Comes Play

Along with the more serious components of the NYC trip, students engage in social events and city tours. From MMUN dance parties to dinners out in the city, students relish the opportunity to meet peers from other countries and strengthen bonds within their Butler cohorts – all chaperoned, of course. Favorite destinations include the M&M and Lego stores.


What does MMUN mean for 6th Year Students?

“It was worth every minute! I learned so much, met new friends, and bonded with my classmates. I’m so proud of the work I did to get me to NYC.” - 6th year student

 The MMUN is especially rewarding for this age group. Although some may deem sixth-years to be too young of age to gain anything meaningful from this experience, the strength and confidence with which students conduct themselves as a result of this conference is enough to speak for itself.

 The MMUN trip to NYC often serves as the first extended group excursion for sixth-years. The journey entails honing skills such as trip preparation, research development, independence, and public speaking. Additionally, the trip fosters bonding among the sixth-year cohort. This year, the students represented Slovenia and Germany.

Preparation for MMUN takes place after school from September to February. During this time, sixth-year students commence their research on their respective countries, delve into real UN topics, compose research papers, and prepare speeches. The students demonstrate exceptional commitment and dedication to their tasks, and they take pride in the final outcome.

 Upon their return, students presented their speeches and shared about their NYC experience. See their slides and watch them present at MMUN


MMUN for Intermediates

As students advance to the Intermediate level, MMUN preparations integrate into the curriculum. They develop the groundwork laid in the 6th year by dedicating time from September through February to conduct research, draft papers and speeches, and ready themselves for the trip. This year, Intermediate students represented Japan, Thailand, and Serbia. You can hear about from the students themselves!


Butler Alumni at MMUN

Since 2020, Butler Montessori alumni have taken on a leadership role at MMUN by participating as Bureau Members. Alumni choose to participate post-graduation because they've loved participating as delegates through the years. Such was the conference's impact on them. They wish to to give back to the MMUN community and enjoy supporting all of the younger Butler students – those students look up to them too! 

Before alumni go to the conference, they attend Bureau training and online sessions. They also read position papers from the younger participants and provide feedback. While at the conference, they are responsible for supporting the Upper Elementary and Intermediate delegates in the committee rooms.

There's a hierarchy of roles – Senior Bureau Member, followed by Chair, Vice Chair, and Rapporteur. All of our alumni and 9th year students attended as Rapporteurs and Vice Chairs.

We had nine Bureau members, six of them alumni (Max Yuen, Grady Garraffa, Alvin Lee, Derek Jiang, Ken Kamezawa, and Imani Lovelace). The other three Bureau members were the current 9th-year students (Malina, Suhana, and Phrog).


MMUN Is More Than An Academic Exercise

“MMUN is an invaluable learning experience for our students and an opportunity to be global citizens. Over the course of the program, the students dive deep into real world issues from another country’s perspective, draft a meaningful paper, and prepare a speech. Their work leads up to a conference where they meet other students from around the world to discuss their findings, and attempt to reach a peaceful consensus about these issues. Throughout the process they are expected to rise up to challenge after challenge, and they persevere! It’s AMAZING and AWE-INSPIRING to see just what these students can do when given the opportunity.” – Jamie Chang, Volunteer MMUN Coordinator for the 6th-years

Beyond its educational benefits, Model United Nations offers students the opportunity to forge lifelong connections and access a global network of peers. Participating in MUN conferences allows students to interact with like-minded individuals from diverse backgrounds, fostering friendships and professional relationships that transcend borders. Moreover, MUN opens doors to a myriad of opportunities, from scholarships and internships to career pathways in international relations, diplomacy, and public service.


Dr. Maria Montessori's vision was that of world peace. She is considered by many to be the founder of peace education. Montessori Model United Nations exemplifies her foundational principle perfectly with its emphasis on cooperation and diplomacy. The organization states it is their mission "to use the power of Model United Nations to inform, inspire, and motivate its young participants to act in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and to change the world together."

The MMUN experience grows the leaders of tomorrow. It teaches students to be informed, engaged, and compassionate citizens of the world. Perhaps your child is interested in participating in the 2025 Conference, ask them! It will, without doubt, be an invaluable experience for all.


If you are interested in learning more about MMUN at Butler, feel free to reach out via [email protected] to schedule a visit and learn more about what Montessori education can do for your child.

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