This morning St. Joseph High School hosted Congressman Fred Upton and shared the videoconference with Decatur High School and Lakeshore High School via videoconference. High school students asked questions about many topics including energy, No Child Left Behind, social security, funding for adult education in Benton Harbor to address the low literacy rate, and steriod use in sports.
Mr. Upton has shared his time with our local schools annually in the videoconference format since 2000. He is especially skilled at giving succinct answers and using illustrations that help students understand the issues. For example, when discussing oil drilling in Alaska, he shared his preferred restriction for 2000 acres used for drilling. He compared that to the size of the Western Michigan University campus to clarify the numbers for students.
Videoconferencing with legislators is a great way to bring real-world connections and substantive conversations into the social studies curriculum! Students certainly enjoy the opportunity to ask their legislators questions about day to day issues.