is designed to give students and educators an inside look at democracy in action. Using the nation’s capitol as a living classroom, participants get a “close up” view of government - interacting with the people, processes, and places that make this federal city so unique.
This trip encompasses what we cover in class during the year. It's an exciting way for these students to connect the classroom to the real world. They realized how relevant government is and that is rewarding to see as a teacher.
Nine students and I traveled by plane to our nation's capitol from April 22-27, 2012. We stayed at the Key Bridge Marriott in Arlington, Virginia. These students included Katie Bellian, Brittany Knight, Loren Jones, Adam Carlyon, Karina Pleli, Jacqui Gall, Amber Erks, Grace Herter, and Bree Marez. They are all seniors.
We typically only take seniors as they have to take American Government their senior year as a graduation requirement.
We began preparing for the trip back in October. We sold donuts and carnations to raise money as well as receiving support from various businesses and Stow government. The students room in groups of 4 so they are with 1 other Stow student and 2 students from another state. We met people from Alaska, Arizona, North Dakota, Minnesota, Mississippi and the Virgin Islands.
The students had a daily program to follow. They did in-depth studies of the monuments (FDR,JFK,Jefferson,Lincoln,Vietnam,Korea,Washington,WWII,Navy and Air Force), visited various Smithsonian museums, toured some of Washington's famous neighborhoods, debated political issues and participated in a mock Congress.
On Wednesday, we had Capitol Hill Day. As a group, we met personally with Senator Rob Portman, Representative Steven LaTourette and with a few staff member of Senator Sherrod Brown.
We also toured the Capitol Building and sat in both galleries of Congress. We also went to Pentagon CIty Mall-a 4 story glass mall-, saw the Pentagon and visited the Pentagon Memorial to 9/11.
Other activities of our week included visiting the Holocaust Museum, the Bureau of Engraving of Printing, the Newseum, the Supreme Court (where we saw a lot of protestors for the Arizona Immigration Law hearings that were going on), the National Archives, and the National Art Museum.
It was a great week of learning and we had a blast. It's important for students to see how relevant government is and these graduating seniors will be active citizens when they enter the real world.
I am glad to have been able to take such a great group for my first year doing Close Up. I will now begin recruiting juniors for the trip next year.