by Austin Dart / firstname.lastname@example.org
Seniors in the American Government class participated in a Congress simulation last semester in which they voted on bills to pass into “law.” Four of the 90+ bills from the class will be implemented or attempted soon.
The first of these four, written by Colby De Vries, is a $2000 grant to Chapel Planning. The second, by Bradyn Zula, involves a water-bottle fill station upstairs. The third, by Tate Osborn, brings double-entree lunches to our cafeteria. The fourth, written by another senior, would bring a digital check-in/out in the office, as opposed to the current paper one.
Two more bills are being considered, but are not necessarily going to be implemented. The first of these is advertisements for the prayer room in the office, written by Zoey Nelson. The second, by Jocelyn Gritters, is having study halls outside during the spring months. “I really appreciate Mr. Wojczynski and the school taking all of our ideas into consideration,” said Nelson, “because I feel like a lot of times people don’t take high schoolers’ opinions very seriously.”
The students involved have greatly enjoyed this process. “It feels good to see something that you see a need for to get put into action. It is very satisfying to participate in the process of creating a bill that turned into a reality,” said De Vries.
Senior Isaiah Gritters agreed. “The government simulation was a phenomenal way to get first-hand experience of what it is like for a bill to become a law. I think it is an amazing opportunity that our input as students is valued enough to be put into place in our school,” he said.
The goal behind the simulation, however, was not strictly to improve the school. “The biggest reason is I wanted to be a better learning experience for students,” said government teacher Greg Wojczynski, “because they care more when it is something that directly affects them. We did a bill to law presentation activity, but I thought there was a better way to teach the class that was meaningful, so we had this simulation,”
Although the main goal was to enhance the learning experience, there was a different perspective too. “Hopefully, the students could make some changes that we didn’t think about,” said Wojczynski.