More than 150 students finished up a two-day competition where they simulated the state legislative process. The High School Activities Association says 19 schools competed in this year's student congress event.
A lot of the current legislators need to get to know these kids before they try and unseat them. The Student Congress is the final test for the kids trying to learn more about the legislative process. While actual policy changes won't come from them, a lot of very real ideas on issues are being tossed around.
For the first time since session, the House and Senate chambers were filled with junior legislators for the state's Student Congress competition. Eden Bartz from Richardton-Taylor was comfortable running the House chamber.
"I like running the House, I like order. I like that, and it's fun, and it's fun making sure everyone gets the proper speaking order and making sure all their ideas are heard,” said Bartz.
Across the hall in the Senate, Forrest Weintraub has competed in the event the last four years, taking real lessons from the simulated environment.
"No matter how strongly I believe about a certain issue, I'm going to prepare both sides and I'm always going to be thinking about what the other side is going to say in response to me and then how I can respond to that,” said Weintraub.
The students are scored on their best speeches and schools compete for the best overall team. And the small schools are on the same scale as the large ones.
"It's kind of exciting because we're like, oh, we get to go against these big class A schools. Like this is cool. It's really fun because we get to get that big competition and we're all very competitive kids,” said Bartz.
"Once you get to know people in the activity, you start thinking of them as your friends or people and you kind of have in the back of your mind, they're opponents, but that's not what you're thinking about during the tournament,” said Weintraub.
Despite the experience they're getting now, Eden and Forrest say it's not likely they'll challenge their hometown legislators for their seats.
Fargo Davies took the overall team title. Richardton Taylor took fourth place.