Edgeley school team places second in 'We the People' challenge
Bismarck Century team places first.
After a morning of simulated congressional hearings that tested their knowledge of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, a Bismarck Century High School team school took top honors at the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution State Finals Challenge. The students qualified to advance to the national finals scheduled for April.
The competition results were announced at an online awards ceremony Jan. 13.
The team from Edgeley High School took second. Team members are Charlie Andrys, Alex Huber and Frank Muddiman. Their instructor is Melissa Entzi.
Six schools competed online Jan. 13 using Zoom in the academic competition where students demonstrate their knowledge of the Constitution in simulated congressional committees and were judged by state Supreme Court justices, constitutional scholars, lawyers and public officials. Schools competing in addition to Bismarck and Edgeley were Hillsboro, Kidder County (instructor Jennifer Kallenbach), Napoleon (instructor Andrew Pike) and Washburn.
The competition was moved online due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The panel of judges tested the expertise of the classes on the six units of the "We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution" textbook: What Are the Philosophical and Historical Foundations of the American Political System? How Did the Framers Create the Constitution? How Has the Constitution Been Changed to Further the Ideals Contained in the Declaration of Independence? How Have the Values and Principles Embodied in the Constitution Shaped American Institutions and Practices? What Rights Does the Bill of Rights Protect? and What Challenges Might Face American Constitutional Democracy in the Twenty-first Century?
Sharon Espeland, state co-coordinator, said the study of civics and the students’ personal commitment to become an enlightened and knowledgeable citizen in this country has never been more important.
"The solution to many issues in this country may very well be quality civics education with inspiring teachers and students committed to their own learning," she said. "Participation in the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution is hopefully just the beginning in their responsibility as active and engaged citizens to have a clear understanding of the concepts of ci il discourse, civic virtue and the common good."
The We the People Program is administered nationally by the Center for Civic Education. In North Dakota, the program is administered by Humanities North Dakota with the support of the state Legislature. Humanities North Dakota also offers civic education programs for adults.