The 26th Annual We the People National Finals will be held April 26-29, 2013 and serves as the culminating event of the We the People high school program. Classes qualify for the National Finals by placing first in their state competition or through wildcard availability. In addition, this year we have added a special Warren E. Burger class in tribute to Chief Justice Warren E. Burger. The competition will be conducted on the campus of George Mason University and in hearing rooms on Capitol Hill.
The National Finals 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 high school textbook. 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 an excellent opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of constitutional principles while providing the seventy-two judges with an excellent means of assessing students' knowledge and application to historical and current constitutional issues.
While in Washington, D.C., students have the opportunity to explore our nation's capital, learn about government beyond the classroom walls, and meet with elected officials and other dignitaries. Travel, lodging, and tour arrangements for classes are managed by WorldStrides. The Center for Civic Education organizes all othe aspects of the National Finals.
Since 1987, more than 28 million students and 75,000 teachers have participated in the We the People program.