The 25th Anniversary We the People National Finals, held April 27- May 1, 2012, was the culminating event of the We the People high school program. Classes qualified for the National Finals by either placing first in their state competition or through a wildcard availability. The competition was conducted on the campus of George Mason University and in hearing rooms of the U.S. House of Representatives.
The We the People competition takes the form of simulated congressional hearing. During the hearings, groups of students testify as constitutional experts before panels of judges acting as congressional committees scoring the groups through a performance-based assessment. Each class is divided into six groups based on the six units of the We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution high school textbook. Each hearing begins with an opening presentation by students from one of the six unit groups. The opening presentation is followed by a period of questioning during which judges probe students' depth of knowledge, understanding, and their ability to apply constitutional principles.The format provides students an excellent opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of constitutional principles while providing the seventy-two judges with an excellent means of assessing students' knowledge and application to historical and current constitutional issues.
While in Washington, D.C., students also had the opportunity to tour our nation's capital and meet with members of Congress and other important dignitaries. Travel, lodging, and tour arrangements for students were made by WorldStrides. The Center for Civic Education organized all other aspects of the National Finals.
Since the inception of the We the People program in 1987, more than 30 million students and 90,000 teachers have participated in the program.