Student Lead Conferences and Contests

UNIS students organize and attend conferences locally, nationally and globally, actively collaborating with their peers and fellow youth leaders from around the world. Students also organize and host conferences on the UNIS campus and at the United Nations. See below for just a few examples of how our students are working towards a better world.

UNIS Conferences

Human Rights Conference

UNIS Contests

UNIS encourages students to participate in a variety of different contests and competitions that align with the school's mission and values.

Social Media Spirit Award

Developed out of a student group suggestion, the UNIS Spirit Award will honor the grade that at the end of the year has earned the most spirit points. Points will be earned through sharing UNIS related experiences, posting about and during school wide events.

Sharing Events
For each school event the grade that shares the most on social media will be given 20 points, the grade with the second greatest will receive 15 points, then 10 , then 5.

Solo Shares
Individuals who share stories about solo activities that show school spirit will be given 1 point towards their grade total. Other areas can be incorporated as well.

Tracking the Points
The collective points per grade will be tracked through a student group established for this purpose. The process will be monitored by Communications and Student Activities.

Spirit Reward
The grade with the most points at the end of the year will win a special prize.

Student Haiku Contest

The United Nations International School, the Northeast Council of Teachers of Japanese, and the Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations are proud to host the 2019 Student Haiku Contest.

Now in its eleventh year, the contest is open to students in grades 1 through 12 and, once again, their teachers. As in the past, poems written in English or in Japanese are eligible, and experienced judges will decide the winners in each of these two language categories.

In addition, the 2019 Student Haiku Contest is soliciting haiku written in other foreign languages. Demonstration categories are planned in Spanish, French, Italian and Arabic this year. Teachers who wish to enter their students’ work in these languages should follow contest regulations. Notable poems in these demonstration categories will be published on the school’s website in celebration of the expanded scope of this year’s contest.

Entries should reflect as much as possible a deeper understanding of the aesthetic principles of haiku instead of focusing only on the syllable count.

Applications are due by March 8, 2019. For more information please click here. Entrees can be submitted using this form.


UNIS Film Festival

The UNIS Film Festival is open to students in Grades 9 – 12. Participants have a designated time to complete a short film incorporating a set of specific elements.

Professional filmmakers and artists appraise the students’ work and decide upon the awards in the categories of Cinematography, Sound, Direction, Editing, Writing, Experimental, Documentary, Narrative Fiction, Audience Choice, and Overall Best Picture. The winning films receive awards at the UNIS Film Festival Screening and Awards Night in the Sylvia Howard Fuhrman Theater. We look forward to expanding the UNIS Film Festival in the future to include more films and by inviting other New York area schools to compete.

Please visit our website at or contact David DiGregorio at or Sandra Lipkind for further information.

LAMP's "Break the Trailer"

Teams of UNIS Students participated in the LAMP's 2015 “Break the Trailer” event, creating mashups of hit movies such as Jurassic World, Annabelle, Pitch Perfect 2 and Minions as well as major franchises like Taken, Star Wars, Star Trek and the James Bond series.

Students met at the Sony Wonder Technology Lab for two workshop sessions, in which they explored the purpose of movie trailers, how they are constructed and how they have changed over time. The students then broke into pairs and created original movie trailers based on video clips. Read more on