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
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