• Dec. 6, 2023

    Students earn top finishes at Model EU

    Model EUUpper St. Clair High School students garnered two first place and one second place finish at the 19th Annual High School Model European Union (EU) on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023, at the University of Pittsburgh. Representing Finland, Isabel Vilensky and Shreya Sriram earned first place for Best Delegation. Representing Germany, Jamie Barrett placed first for Best Position Paper and placed second with Max Gresh for Best Delegation.

    More than 150 students from 20 local high schools participated in the Model EU. With 20 students in attendance, Upper St. Clair High School sent one of the largest contingents to the event. The students were led by Thomas Yochum, gifted education coordinator.

    "Upper St. Clair High School has transformed into one of the strongest programs in the region due to the efforts of team members across all grade levels,” Mr. Yochum said. “To participate in the Model EU requires an advanced understanding of international policy making and diplomatic negotiations. To win at the event is remarkable.”

    Playing the roles of presidents and prime ministers, students spend a day engaged in intense negotiations over conflicting issues about the EU. The objective is to simulate a specific European Council meeting that focuses on recent current events impacting the EU. The Model EU topics centered on resolutions to help Europe strengthen democratic institutions and expand cooperation in the Indo-Pacific.

    “The goal of the Model EU is to give high school students a chance to learn about the workings of the European Union through a hands-on simulation,” according to the event’s website. “Model EU enhances students’ understanding of classroom learning and gives them a real sense of the challenges involved in the decision-making process of the European Union.”

    The event was sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh’s European Studies Center with funding from the U.S. Department of Education and Jean Monnet European Union Centers of Excellence.