Last Friday, IAA held the Penn International Relations Conference, which brought together 350 high school students from the tri-state area to learn more about international relations, specifically the MENA region. Participants listened to student speakers Stephanie Herrmann and Arielle Panitch, who gave a discourse about women’s rights and civil conflicts, and Professor Ian Lustick, who discussed the Arab Spring. Once opening ceremonies concluded, the students were dividied into simulation rooms and tasked with coming up with solutions to modern problems—all which related to the MENA region. In each room, to prepare for their simulation, students watched videos, read articles, and listened to real-time stories to help engage in their topics. As simulations progressed, they were able to gain a deeper understanding of the topics and problems at hand. The overarching goal of the conference was to educate these students on the modern issues of the MENA region, and it all came together for a successful capstone event for COE!