HIGH SCHOOL AND CAMDEN CONFERENCE IN THE CLASSROOM
One of the greatest challenges of the 21st century is to prepare the next generation of citizens and policy leaders to face the complex challenges of the global community. The subtleties of multi-national issues can easily get lost in a world of oversimplification and 140-character bytes. In response to this, in 2015, a pilot education program was initiated by the Camden Conference and seven high schools in Maine. Dubbed “Camden Conference in the Classroom,” the goals were to promote courses being offered on current foreign affairs in Maine high schools and to increase the attendance of high school students at the Camden Conference. The teachers were given support in the form of resources about the topic of the Conference (Russia) and a workshop in September featuring presentations by experts on Russia. As a direct result of this program, 56 high school students attended the Conference in 2015, up from 9 who attended in 2012!
The program has evolved and currently eleven high schools in Maine are participating. The curriculum is designed by each teacher within the guidelines of the school. These for-credit courses range from a full year’s course, to a theme or topic within an AP course. or to a mentored independent study.
Student attendees obviously benefit from hearing world-renowned speakers sharing their expertise in current global topics, and because the students are prepared both before and after the Conference in the classroom, the students are ready to absorb the information and the atmosphere with other adults.
Feedback from other attendees about the students has been overwhelmingly positive, expressing appreciation at the fresh perspectives and youthful energy added by their presence.
The CCC program is funded with a combination of grants and individual donations specifically earmarked for the Student Education Fund. This allows the Conference to offer reduced price tickets for participating teachers and their students, as well as a welcome reception on Friday night and Saturday lunch, which often includes guest speakers and facilitated discussions on the topic of the day.
2019 CAMDEN CONFERENCE IN THE CLASSROOM PARTICIPATING SCHOOLS
The Camden Conference is pleased to announce the hiring of Erin Towns as its Outreach Liaison to Maine high schools. Erin is a high school educator at Edward Little High School in Auburn with over 15 years of experience teaching geography, world history and contemporary global issues. She became interested in making education relevant for students and began a quest to bring the world directly into her classroom and has been involved with Camden Conference in the Classroom (CCC) program since its inception in 2015. The CCC promotes courses being offered on current foreign affairs in Maine high schools and seeks to increase the attendance of high school students at the Camden Conference. The teachers are given support in the form of resources about the topic of the Conference and a workshop in September featuring presentations by experts on the topic. Erin quickly became a leader of the group of…
Peter Imber moved to Maine in 2010 with his Rockland born wife, Jo Dondis, after a 28-year career in network television news. For most of that time he was a producer for ABC News and worked for its broadcasts, including World News Tonight, Nightline and Good Morning America. His work was nominated for National News Emmys four times, winning once. He has also received a DuPont-Columbia Award and a National Press Club Award. Peter grew up in Pennsylvania, graduated from Dartmouth College in 1969 and lived in Israel during the 1970s where he was a member of a kibbutz and served in the Israel Defense Forces. After returning to the U.S. he received an M.F.A. from U.C.L.A. in Motion Picture/Television Production. He has taught several classes at Belfast Senior College and is teaching another at the Camden Library this spring. He has been a volunteer with the Camden Conference and served…
Pen Bay Pilot article, posted June 10, 2019 Students from Oceanside High School in Rockland and Medomak Valley High School in Waldoboro addressed the public Wednesday evening, May 22, with presentations on China’s Global Ascendancy as part of the continuing Informed Young Leaders Series. At the conclusion of the presentations, the students engaged with the audience in an active round of Q & A, answering questions such as ‘What was the biggest surprise you encountered when researching this topic?’ to which a number of the students replied, “Finding out how quickly China’s economic and technological gains are accelerating,” according to the Series, in a news release. One member of the audience commended the students, saying, “I learned a lot about China tonight that I suspected but never knew. I can’t tell you how impressed and grateful I am for your thoughtful presentations.” Jake Newcomb of Medomak Valley High School, and…
Two Portland High School students, Mariam Douale and Elisa Membreno, presented their Capstone projects to the Portland Board of Public Education on May 21. Their projects were based on this year’s Conference topic “Is This China’s Century?”, which they attended in February 2019 with their teacher, Troy Crabtree, as participants in the Camden Conference in the Classroom program.