Welcome to the 2011 We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution National Finals!

Dear Parents and Visitors:

On behalf of the Center for Civic Education, I want to personally congratulate all the high school students who are participating in the 2011 We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution National Finals. Their hard work, diligence, and teamwork has enabled them to represent their state in this year's national finals. The Center is also pleased to recognize the thousands of parents, relatives, and friends who will travel to Washington, D.C., to participate in the national finals and those who are not able to travel, but are just as enthusiastic about the We the People program. We hope you enjoy your experience.


Robert S. Leming, Director
We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution
Center for Civic Education

The following information is designed to help you understand and better enjoy the 2011 We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution National Finals. If you have any questions during the national finals, please ask a competition volunteer (yellow tag on badge) or a Center staff member (red tag on badge).

Parents or visitors interested in reserving a hotel room at the competition site, please contact Jan Ruyle Beck at 

Information Desk > Learn More
Hearing Rooms > Learn More
Student Briefing Room > Learn More
Student Dance > Learn More
Awards Banquet > Learn More

Information Desk

Visitors must register at the Center’s information desk each day.

Information Desk Locations
Saturday, April 30: Crystal Gateway Marriott lobby
Sunday, May 1: Crystal Gateway Marriott lobby
Monday, May 2: To be announced

Visitors will be issued a name or state badge that should be worn at all times during competition events. Your name or state badge ensures your access to hearing rooms and to the We the People dance on Sunday night. Visitors without name badges will not be admitted into the hearing rooms. If you do not bring your name badge to the We the People dance you may register for the event onsite and will receive an admission wristband or name badge.

Hearing Rooms

Saturday and Sunday

A room supervisor will be stationed outside each hearing room to monitor admittance.

Because the hearing rooms are limited in size the number of open seats depends on the class size and number of parents and visitors. Every effort will be made to ensure that parents and visitors who have come to see a particular student testify will be seated in the room during that student’s unit hearing. Parents and visitors may stand in the back of the room unless otherwise directed due to fire codes and at the discretion of the teacher, room supervisor, or Center staff. To ensure that the hearings are not interrupted, parents and visitors will be admitted to the hearing room at appropriate break times (between units) and after the judges have left the room.

Everyone is welcome to observe the hearings. However to ensure fairness, anyone affiliated with a competing class (teachers, coaches, students, chaperons, parents, friends, relatives, etc.) may not enter the hearing room of any other competing class.

Once a class hearing is completed, floor supervisors and Center staff will direct classes and parents to the hotel exit in a timely fashion.


A room supervisor will be stationed outside the hearing room to monitor admittance. 

Everyone is welcome to attend any of the hearings on Capital Hill. However, competing classes and people affiliated with those classes may only attend their hearings. In addition, classes competing during the afternoon and people affiliated with those classes may not attend any morning hearing. Because the hearing rooms on Capitol Hill are substantially larger visitors may be admitted to a hearing room after a hearing is underway at the discretion of the room supervisor.

Student Briefing Room

On the Saturday and Sunday there will be a half hour briefing for all classes before the hearings begin. Robert Leming, Director of the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution program and Mark Molli, Director of Governmental Relations will officially welcome classes, parents, and visitors to the 2011 National Finals and address the students about important matters concerning the competition and Washington D.C. Upon arrival at the hotel floor supervisors and Center staff will direct students to the briefing room. Parents and visitors may stand or sit in the student briefing room as space allows. At the end of the briefing, floor supervisors and Center staff will direct classes to their hearing rooms. Once all classes have been dismissed, parents and visitors will be directed to the hearing rooms.

Student Dance

On Sunday night, a dance party is held at the Pentagon City Mall in celebration of all the students. At the party's finale the top ten teams are announced.

Awards Banquet

The awards banquet is the culminating event of the 2011 national finals. This is the time to celebrate the accomplishments of all of the students and teachers participating in the national finals. Approximately 1,500 students, teachers, judges, volunteers, Center for Civic Education staff, and special guests will be in attendance. Fifty-two recognition awards will be given to teachers. In addition, twenty-two class awards will be given, including six unit awards, five regional awards, a special Ronald Reagan question award, and tenth- through first-place awards.

Unfortunately, banquet tickets are not available for purchase. Parents and other guests may wish to take advantage of the standing room in the Ambassador Ballroom at the Omni Shoreham Hotel; a closed-circuit TV will be available. Due to fire codes, guests will not be permitted to stand in the ballroom in which the banquet will take place. After the awards banquet there will a dance for all students in the Ambassador Ballroom featuring a live band, Butter.


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