University of Mary Hosts Political Competition - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

University of Mary Hosts Political Competition

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History and government classes are boring to some students, but fascinating to others. They were among the representatives from six high schools who competed head to head on U.S. politics at the University of Mary.

It was amazing how much these students knew. This statewide competition called, We The People: The Citizen and the Constitution, challenges students with questions about the American Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the dynamics of how of our government works.

Telling judges how the wheels of the government turn, is the basic premise of the competition. The competition invites lawyers from the state board, government professors and the North Dakota Supreme Court justices to judge the individual units.

The competition is broke into categories that give two questions to groups of students, who must study and have in depth answers. All of the judges stay they're impressed with students every year.

"What they know about it is on the line. nor only do they have to study about it, but they have to explain it to us. and they explain it to us in this hearing process," says Honorable Carol Kapsner. "Where they first tell us what they know. But then they have to respond to our questions. and they responses to these questions are on the spot sometimes. It surprises me how much they know."

Bishop Ryan, Edgeley, Hillsboro, Richland, Rugby, and Napoleon students are all competing to win all over state title, as well as, winners of units. But they take away more than just the winning title.  

"They really take away and understand as adults how important it is to be engaged in public service. Even it's just serving on the local school board, or volunteering or working with different organizations," says Dr. Donna Pearson.

Teachers worked with their students for weeks, making sure they understood their unit. Reminding them they only had 4 minutes to present, keep good eye contact, speak clearly and go for it.

The overall state champion is Napoleon High School. Major winning schools for units are Edgeley, Rugby and Napoleon.

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