Harvard Model Congress 23′

2023 Becton debate  seniors at HMC.

2023 Becton debate seniors at HMC.

This year from Feb 23, 2023 to Feb 26, 2023, Becton’s Nearly Famous Debate Team attended yet another Harvard Model Congress Trip. The Becton debate team, administered by teacher Bill Carr, attends HMC annually. While at HMC, students from all over the country join together to participate in a mock congressional debate, discussing topics relating to different committees and issues in actual congress. Harvard Model Congress teaches students many real-life lessons including structure of the government, public speaking, and teamwork.

Harvard Model Congress poses as a great opportunity for participants to learn more about the requirements of in-person debates and conversation that they will be able to apply later in their lives. For example, HMC is an in-person debate between students of great intelligence from all over the nation to discuss topics they are particularly interested in, meaning they have to be able to communicate their research. When Becton Senior, Kyla Groh, was interviewed on what she learned from the HMC event, she writes, “I learned that making connections and communicating is very important for starting change and making a positive impact. For example, I had to make connections and put myself out there in order to present myself and create bills with my fellow delegates.” Groh recounts what knowledge in communication she has taken away throughout the event.

Ms. Calasso (Left) Mr. Carr and Ms. Polmann (Right) at HMC.

To be able to participate in the Harvard Model Congress, you must be a dedicated member of the Becton Debate team. HMC requires a lot of hard work, not even throughout the four days of the congress, but the requirements leading up to the event. Becton Senior, Lucas Chen, recommends HMC to other students, “I would recommend HMC to students that are willing to spend a lot of time learning about law and politics, and to students that want to compare themselves to the best of the best high school students in the nation.” Chen discusses the importance of being interested in the topics of law and politics when it comes to taking part in model congress, for the subjects being covered will appear more to your regard and further enhance your ability to learn throughout the trip.

Even though Harvard Model Congress is filled with numerous debates in congress over the four days, HMC can also be used as a way to explore the beautiful city of Boston with friends from your delegation, or even friends made along the way. Students are given multiple opportunities to explore the city during Harvard day and even mealtimes where they are allowed to eat at any restaurant and converse. After attending HMC and other model congresses throughout his Freshman and Sophomore years, Robert Polanco expands on his experiences in Boston this year, “What inspired me to join this year was my experience from freshman year and my upperclassmen who will be graduating this year. It’s on these types of trips that the team as a whole becomes much closer even if we are separated by numerous years.” Polanco talks about the eventful time he spent in Boston over the weekend, filled with fun activities he enjoyed with his friends. Harvard Model Congress may initially sound like a lot of hard work and debating, but students are still given plenty of leisure time they seem to always enjoy.

Sophomore Robert Polanco with his award.

Overall, Model Congress, and Policy Debate, poses an excellent way for students to learn more about the subject of politics and communications while also pushing students to excel in other areas that will benefit their abilities in the future. With his many years of experience with both Model Congress and Policy Debate, Mr. Carr acknowledges that these subjects positively influence students, he writes, “It shows the importance of making deadlines, collaboration with others, interpersonal skills, and benefiting from real life experiences.” He also recognizes his team and their accomplishments, “Over 1500 students from 80 schools from the United States and from around the World participated in the four-day federal government simulation. Sophomore Robert Polanco won his second Honorable Mention in committee and Senior Adriana McClain racked up another Honorable Mention, giving her five awards over her MoCo career. All 20 delegates did an amazing job role playing as members of Congress and the Executive Branch. Your 2023 HMC Delegation was #bectonsbest!”