09:23 AM

Bring Show Me the Constitution, a hands-on learning experience, to your school

The Missouri Bar is devoted to ensuring that all Missourians have access to ongoing civics education. Since its founding, Show Me the Constitution has offered educators a unique way to engage students in learning about the current legal issues and how they impact daily life.  

The competition, which will take place April 8, 2024, in Columbia, replicates congressional committee hearings, challenging teams of students to apply constitutional principles to current events. This year’s competition features questions about free speech, affirmative action, and judicial review. 

“Show Me the Constitution aligns with several of the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s standards for social studies and government,” said Dr. Tony Simones, Citizenship Education director. “It allows students to develop critical thinking skills and wrestle with some of the most complex constitutional questions of our time.” 

The contest is open to all public, private, and parochial high schools in Missouri, providing each school the opportunity to bring up to three teams of three to five students.  

Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three schools to support civic education initiatives. The first-place school will receive $1,000. 

At the competition, each team will have five minutes to read their prepared statement responding to each of the questions provided for the competition. At the end of the five-minute presentation, judges will have 10 minutes to ask follow-up questions and hear student answers about their stances. During the follow-ups, students must turn their printed pages over or close their electronic copies. At the end of the follow-ups, judges will provide feedback to the students. 

“Show Me the Constitution is an authentic assessment that pushes students beyond rote memorization to apply their constitutional knowledge to real-world issues,” Simones said. “It has been exciting to see this program foster passionate engagement and civil discourse for so many Missouri students over the years.” 

The registration deadline is March 1. Schools interested in participating can contact Simones at tsimones@mobar.org or Sara Hoover at shoover@mobar.org for more information.