This past fall, several federal courts came together to host the fourth annual student contest and event focusing on the Bill of Rights. Students in grades 5-12 were encouraged to submit essays and art projects proposing a new amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Students were asked to imagine that they’ve been selected to appear before Congress to propose a new amendment to the Constitution that will become part of the Bill of Rights. They had to explain what right they would recommend and why. The student submissions needed to address ALL of the following questions:
- What right would you suggest?
- Why should this right be added to the Bill of Rights?
- Why is your amendment needed?
- What impact do you think the addition of this right would have on citizens of the United States?
Students worked hard in their seventh grade Civics & Contemporary Issues classes with Mrs. Kopplin and Mrs. Stridde to learn about the history of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights from the United Nations and the creation and content of the Bill of Rights. Each student was free to choose their own topic that they wanted to see changed for the contest. We had finalist submissions from Patrick Roberts & Sly Hartzheim, Mae Braun & Anna Lucia Ferrara, Leo Grandone, Charlie Calton, and Amalia Lehn.
While seventh graders focused on civics education, the eighth graders’ focus was on proposing voting rights and improving voting participation in the U.S. The students had to answer the following questions in their submission:
- What voting right would you suggest?
- Why should this voting right be added to the Bill of Rights?
- Why is your voting amendment needed & should be added to the Bill of Rights?
- What impact do you think the addition of this right would have on citizens in the US?
A live webinar was hosted on December 6 and all participating students and their families and teachers were invited to attend. Over 200 people tuned in for the webinar, including two classroom watch parties.
Congratulations to Oliver Blackwell and Charlotte Frank who came in first place, and Sophia Eckman who placed second for their submissions.
For more information regarding the contest, please visit The Judicial Learning Center.