Social Studies Competitions

High School Model United Nations conferences are held at a variety of universities throughout the country every year. Students are assigned a country or countries (depending on the number of students attending), UN committees on which they will represent their assigned countries and topics for discussion. Students who attend the conference need to do some research prior to the conference. Research will need to done on the country assigned and the topics to be debated. In addition, students will need to know the basics of parliamentary procedure. Awards are given at the end of the conference by each committee to the delegations who participated the most in the committee’s discussions. In order to win an award, a student must be well informed on the issues and knowledgeable about his or her assigned country’s position on those issues.

Gibbons’ students have competed in Model UN conferences since 1987. Over the years, we have attended conferences held at Appalachian State University, Old Dominion University, East Carolina University, UNC-Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State University. 

Each year the North Carolina Center for Civic Education, in conjunction with North Carolina Advocates for Justice (formerly the North Carolina Academy of Trail Lawyers), sponsors the state mock trial program for high school students.  Beginning in February, over 70 school teams from across our state compete in a series of regional competitions.  Cardinal Gibbons is looking forward to competing in the Raleigh division contest, held in the Wake County Courthouse.  Our team of eight students – serving as trial lawyers and witnesses – will adjudicate both the prosecution and defense cases in a hypothetical criminal prosecution of arson in the first degree and a corresponding felony homicide charge.   This complex case requires our students to engage in the process of thinking forensically, while mastering the skills of case summation, witness cross-examination, and evidence evaluation.  The Social Studies Department is pleased to sponsor this activity, which has been a part of the education outreach by our state legal community to high school students for 25 years.