(MTN News-HELENA) A team of students from Fergus High School in Lewistown is heading to Washington D.C. after being crowned this year’s “We The People” state champions.
Hundreds of high school students from across Montana tested their knowledge of the U.S. Constitution in Helena on Tuesday, answering questions before a mock Congressional committee.
“We the People,” organized by the Center for Civic Education, is designed to challenge students’ abilities at explaining constitutional issues.
Agape Setu, a Fergus High School student, said, “I think we did pretty well with answering the questions. I’m pretty excited and I’m pretty happy with my team.”
The simulated Congressional hearing included topics such as capital punishment, filibusters, and the expansion of voting rights.
While “We The People” puts an emphasis on informing students about politics, Kyler Fink from Anaconda said it also improved his public speaking skills.
Fink said, “Definitely it’s helped me get used to being asked questions and having to think of a nice response and think out my response so that I don’t sound like an idiot out there.”
Richard Hildner has coordinated the Montana We The People competition for the past nine years. He believes the competition serves as an arena for young minds to become more engaged in civics.
Hildner said, “We have a new generation with an understanding of the Constitution, an understanding of the Bill of Rights and the need for civic dialogue and civic understanding.”
Luke Brandon, social studies teacher at Ferguson High School, said, “We’ll also be competing against teams from all over the country who have also won state competitions but I have a lot of confidence in these guys, they’re a really bright group of students and I think anything is possible.”
The national “We The People” mock Congressional hearing competition kicks off April 23 in Washington D.C.