Indiana University Northwest is proud to host students from area middle and high schools as they compete in the District One “We the People … Citizens and the Constitution” congressional hearings at the Gary, Ind. campus on Nov. 10.
“We the People ...” is the most extensive educational program in the county to eduate young people about the history and principles of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The curriculum was developed and is administered by the Center for Civic Education. The program is designed to commemorate the framing and adoption of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and to revitalize constitutional educational programs in American schools.
Students prepare for these hearings by completing an eight-week instruction program. Each member of the class becomes an expert witness on one of the five units in the text and then testifies in small groups before a panel of judges acting as congressional representatives. During the simulated congressional hearing, students are judged on the following criteria: understanding, constitutional application, reasoning, support evidence, responsiveness, and participation.
All participants in the competition will receive certificates signed by U.S. Rep. Peter J. Visclosky, D-1st. The District One program coordinator is Cathy Bomberger, who has won several awards for excellence in the programming.
Participating high schools include Andrean, Hammond Clark and Munster, the latter of which has won both the District One and Indiana State competitions in the past and has competed in the national competition in Washington D.C. Participating middle schools include Pierce Middle School in Merrillville and Wilbur Wright Middle School in Munster. On Dec. 1, IU Northwest will host area elementary schools for a similar program.
“We the People” begins at 11 p.m. on Nov. 10 in Raintree Hall. The awards ceremony will take place in the Savannah Center Auditorium beginning at 1:10 p.m.
“We the People … Citizens and the Constitution” is sponsored by the following organizations: the Indiana State Bar Association; the Indiana Bar Foundation; the Indiana Judges Association; the Lake County Bar Association; the Indiana Lawyers Alliance; the Social Studies Development Center of Indiana University; and the Center for Civic Education.
At IU Northwest, the program is hosted by the School of Business and Economics and Dean Anna Rominger, who is a pre-law adviser at the school. Rominger has served as coach for several area high schools and elementary schools.