By Katie Fisher

Some students bake cookies in their spare time.Some paint, read, or watch endless re-runs of Glee.There are some, however, who dream up ways the United Nations could become more involved in ending child labor.

While that last option may not sound very appealing to most, several East students have been considering problems such as this for a United Nations competition sponsored by the West Triangle Chapter of the United Nations Association of the United States (UNA-USA).

For the competition, students work alone or in teams to create an original project that addresses an issue relevant to the mission of the United Nations. The project must address the issue and how the UN should approach or become involved with the issue. The project can be presented in any format—PowerPoint, essay, poetry, or even sculpture.

The United Nations Association was founded in 1945 to support the United Nations through educating the public about the UN and advocating its mission. UNA-USA board member Tuck Green hopes the contest will help the organization achieve this goal.

“The contest is designed to encourage students to learn more about the U.N. by creating original projects which pertain to the U.N.’s mission,” said Green in an interview with the ECHO.

The winning project receives a prize of $750, second place receives $500, and third receives $250.

Many current and former East students have entered the competition in past years, and several walked away with first or second place awards.

Junior David McDonogh is one such student. His presentation last year focused on the division of Cyrprus after the Turkish invasion and how the United Nations might become involved in solving it.

“Doing the competition, you learn about what the UN can do in certain situations, and can show how some problems surpass the capacities of the UN and need to be solved by the citzens of the country in question.,” said McDonogh.

Previous winning projects have focused on the conflict between Israel and Palestine, Kashmir, and encouraging nuclear non proliferation.

Project outlines must be submitted to the UNA-USA by Dec. 15, and the final presentations will take place in February of 2011 at the Carolina Center for Educational Excellence. For more information, see www.una-westtriangle.org.

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