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Caption: MAST ACADEMY from Miami recently captured the state title in the annual We the People... The Citizen and the Constitution mock congressional hearing competition, sponsored by the Florida Law Related Education Association. More than 300 high school students from throughout the state demonstrated their knowledge and understanding of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights as they competed in the state finals. Students studied the intense curriculum for months to prepare for their role as experts testifying on constitutional issues in a simulated congressional hearing. Thirteen teams vied for the opportunity to represent Florida at the nationals to be held May 4-6 in Washington, D.C. Florida teams have performed honorably at the national finals in the past, winning the national competition four times, including back-to-back titles in 2000 and 2001. The state finals were held at the University of Central Florida. The competition began with an opening ceremony held in the Cape Florida Ballroom of the stu dent union. The opening ceremony included a presentation of the colors by the UCF Air Force ROTC and the singing of the national anthem by Miss Orlando Erika Dunlap. Highlighting the opening ceremonies were addresses by U.S. Congressman Rio Keller and Kirk Kirkconnell, a member of The Florida Bar Board of Governors. We the People... is designed to teach young people about the Constitution and Bill of Rights and the principles they embody. It is funded by the U.S. Department of Education by an act of Congress and is administered nationally by the Center for Civic Education. We the People... began in 1987 as part of the celebration of the bicentennial of the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights and has had a tremendous impact on thousands of students across the country, according to Kevin Haman, program coordinator for FLREA. Students from Coral Reef Senior High School in Miami finished second, followed by Spanish River High School from Boca Raton and Miami Killian Senior High School.
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Publication:Florida Bar News
Date:Feb 15, 2002
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