Congratulations to Coach Matt Sanzone and the members of the 2014 We the People team who won the Maine state competition on Friday, Feb 7th in Portland, defeating Catherine McAuley and Noble. Students are divided into six unit teams and each team was tasked with researching three separate topics related to the US Constitution, its development and its application throughout history and today. The student teams were required to prepare a four minute speech on each topic and then be prepared to present one of these speeches to a panel of judges (the students do not know which of the three topics they will be asked about). After delivering their prepared speech, during which they can use notes, the teams must answer six minutes of follow up questions related to their topic without any notes available to them. Each of the three judges gave the student teams a score out of 60 based on the following categories: understanding, constitutional application, reasoning, supporting evidence, responsiveness and participation, for a total possible score of 180. This was a daunting and time-consuming undertaking for the students to become “experts” in their given areas.
The students and their topics are: Unit 1: What are the Philosophical and Historical Foundations of the American Political System? Adam Allen, Ben Corey, Brianna Hale,Tim Lee, and Kim Mills. Unit 2: How did the Framers Create the Constitution? Carolyn Bates, Hannah Bossi, Josh Marks, and Riley Wilber. Unit 3: How Has the Constitution Been Changed to Further the Ideals Contained in the Declaration of Independence? Jason Beland, Brittany Bossi, Jack Letellier, Sam McPherson, and Jack Mercer. Unit 4: How Have the Values and Principles Embodied in the Constitution Shaped American Institutions and Practices?
Riley Burke, Kyle Fallon, Darren LaPointe, and Garrett Robinson. Unit 5: What Rights Does the Bill of Rights Protect? Nicole Benedetto, Suzannah Blass, Julianna Burke, Hannah Dolan, and Isabella Etro. Unit 6: What Challenges Might Face American Constitutional Democracy in the Twenty-first Century? Emma Barker, Sianna Niedolkowski, Adya Plourde, and Josef Siraco.