Education Programs for High School Students
United States Diplomacy Center education programs fill a need for civic education in the area of diplomacy by informing students of diplomacy’s role in our nation's history and relevance at home, at school and on the job. Curricula keyed to National Standards of Learning engage students and teachers through diplomatic simulations and other interactive programs.
Diplomatic simulations are the latest addition to our programs. Designed for high school students, the simulations introduce students and teachers to the world of diplomacy, connecting history to current events, and will:
- Develop skills, including decision-making, problem solving, conflict resolution and negotiation;
- Reveal how diplomats negotiate across borders to tackle issues like environmental cooperation, HIV/AIDS, trade disputes, and international security and law enforcement; and
- Bring diplomacy to life and illuminate diplomacy’s influence across the globe.
Diplomatic simulation programs include printed materials, on-site training, web-based exchanges between American and international students, and digital video conferencing. The USDC also trains teachers to run the simulations in the classroom.
Currently available simulation exercises:
Crisis in Darfur: This in-class diplomatic simulation examines the current crisis in Darfur and the responses of the international community. Students are divided into stakeholder groups representing the Government of Sudan, the Government of China, the U.S. State Department, the world Non-Governmental Organizations community, the African Union and the United Nations. The students are required to research their stakeholder’s policy position and role before coming to the table to negotiate, trying to agree on a joint policy and priority actions to implement that policy.
In the video at the right, students participating are young leaders from Europe, Eurasia, and the United States taking part in the July 2008 Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellows (BFTF) Summer Institute for Youth. The BFTF program is produced by the Department’s Educational Cultural Affairs and Europe and Eurasia Bureaus and Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The simulation was taped at the Department of State, when the students came to take part in the USDC simulation program. Students were divided into the six stakeholder groups, and each selected a chief diplomat to serve as spokesperson for the group.
Students use the acronyms in referring to some of the stakeholder groups; these are as follows: African Union: AU; United Nations: UN; Non-Governmental Organizations: NGOs
A National HIV/AIDS Program for Botswana: This in-class diplomatic simulation, designed in cooperation with Global Classrooms® Washington, DC of the United Nations Association National Capital Region, examines the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Botswana and the response of the global community. Students are divided into stakeholder groups representing the Government of Botswana, the United Nations Joint Program on HIV/AIDS, the U.S. State Department, the Gates Foundation, the Merck Corporation, and the Government of the United Kingdom. The students are required to research their stakeholder’s policy position and role before coming to the table to negotiate an effective national HIV/AIDS program for Botswana, including the resources each stakeholder will contribute.
Contact the USDC Education Officer at USDC@state.gov or call 202-736-9044 to schedule a diplomatic simulation.