— U.S., Russian High School Students Present Research On Nuclear Disarmament

More than 70 students and teachers from 10 U.S. high schools and 10
schools in Russia’s closed nuclear cities gathered to present their
research on “Nuclear Disarmament: Challenges, Opportunities, and Next
Steps” at the spring 2009 Critical Issues Forum (CIF) conference April
23-24 in Monterey.

The conference is the culmination of a semester-long program designed to increase
students’ awareness of nonproliferation and disarmament issues and enhance
critical thinking skills.

All the students’ presentations were very creative, enjoyable, and
well-researched.  Presentations included student-produced movies, NPT
Review Conference simulation, skits revolving around nuclear weapons
history, current events in nuclear development, and interactive activities.

With the still-lingering excitement of President Obama’s historic speech
on April 5th in Prague calling for a world without nuclear weapons, many
of students’ presentations at the conference featured recent developments
in nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation issues.

Dr. Patricia Lewis, Deputy Director and Scientist-in-Residence at the CNS,
and former director of the UNIDIR, gave a keynote presentation with a
title of “Passing the Nuclear Baton: Nuclear Disarmament and the Next

This year marks the 20th anniversary of CNS.  Over the past two decades,
CNS has dedicated itself to training the next generation of
nonproliferation specialists and raising global public awareness. The CIF
is one of the flagship educational outreach programs the Center has
established to accomplish its mission.

In addition to high school student presentations, MIIS students
specializing in nonproliferation, and junior CNS staff members who also
study nonproliferation, shared their experiences on how they ended up
studying nonproliferation issues, and inspired the CIF high school
students to pursue their dreams.

The April 24th Monterey County Herald carried a long story of the CIF
conference with three large photos.

The Russian students and American students also took advantage of
opportunities for cultural exchange, building friendships.


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