Prof. Rawson and ‘We the People’

APU Associate Professor Timothy Rawson was among judges taking part in a statewide competition of high schoolers vying to show who knows the most about the American political system.

Organized in 1987 by the Center for Civic Education, “We the People” has involved more than 30 million students and 90,000 educators in a nationwide study program aimed at helping young people become competent, responsible voters, leaders and observers of the political process.

Rawson, whose Liberal Studies courses include U.S. history and government, has been involved in “We the People” for five years.
“The competition provides students with good experience in public speaking,” he said. “We judges try to keep the event fun and challenging.”

Top prize at the competition Dec. 5 in Fairbanks went to South Anchorage High School. It will represent Alaska in April in a national contest.

“We the People” offers middle- and high school teachers a curriculum capped by competition. Teams of students make presentations in simulated congressional hearings to panels of judges, who score students on knowledge, reasoning, Constitutional understanding and ability to respond in a question-and-answer session.

Rawson judged the unit “What are the philosophical and historical foundations of the American political system?” He was joined by Professor Terrence Cole, University of Alaska Fairbanks, and Doug Beckstead, historian for the Air Force at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson.