MCC 8th graders participate in a virtual mock congressional hearing 

June 11, 2021

MCC 8th graders participate in a virtual mock congressional hearing 

By Kate Goodman, MCP correspondant. 

Spartan News is a presentation of Mason County Central Public Schools in partnership with Mason County Press.

SCOTTVILLE — As the school year comes to an end, Mason County Central eighth graders participated in a virtual mock congressional hearing. Students spent their third trimester of social studies researching and preparing testimonies for constitutional related questions during the mock hearing. Students testified before a panel of judges composed of community members, former social studies teachers, and local attorneys.

Created by the Center for Civic Education, the mock Congressional hearing is part of The We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution, a program to promote civic competence and responsibility in secondary students. The mock hearing provided an opportunity for students to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of United States history and the principles of the United States Constitution.

The hearing was divided into two parts: prepared four-minute testimonies and six-minute questioning from the panel of judges. This year’s questions focused on the due process of law, freedom of speech, unreasonable search and seizure, voting rights, and the 19th Amendment.

“The project is an authentic learning experience,” said Collene McCormick, MCC Social Studies teacher. “Students have to know the Constitution, history, case law, and current events as well as work collaboratively with their peers. It is an incredible project,”

After the hearing, students reflected on their experience preparing and presenting as part of the We the People (WTP) project.  When thinking about the 19th Amendment, Evangeline Hradel said, “The WTP project gave a new perspective on understanding my question and the Constitution. I took time and found out more history on the Amendment and now I understand the meaning behind everything that my response contained.”

Many students agreed it was a good project. 

“I think this project taught us how to do our own research, know what we are learning and talking about, and most importantly, forming an unbiased opinion,” said Aiden Hilliker.  Nyvaeh Wendt stated, “All and all this project was a great way to finish off eighth grade.”

As the school year comes to a close, this year’s We the People hearing was a success, one that McCormick hopes to make an eighth grade end-of-the-year tradition.

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