The National Invitational takes the form of simulated congressional hearings. During the hearings, groups of students testify as constitutional experts before panels of judges acting as congressional committees scoring the groups through a performance-based assessment. Each class is divided into six groups based on the six units of the We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution middle and high school school textbooks. Each hearing begins with a four minute opening statement by students and is followed by a six minute period of follow-up questioning during which judges probe students' depth of knowledge, understanding, and their ability to apply constitutional principles. The format provides students a unique opportunity to demonstrate their knowlege and understanding of constituitonal principles while providing judges with an excellent means of assessing students' knowledge and application to historical and current constitutional issues.
While in Washington, D.C., students have an opportunity to explore our nation's capital, learn about government beyond the classroom walls and meet with elected officals and other dignitaries. Travel program arrangements for classes are managed by WorldStrides. The Center for Civic Education organizes all other aspects of the National Invitational.
Since 1987 more than 28 million students and 75,000 teachers have participated in the We the People program.
Questions? Contact Robert Leming, Director, We the People Programs or Natale Fuller, National Invitational Coordinator, Center for Civic Education.