Last week, BFA seniors took their annual trip to the Vermont Statehouse as part of their Senior Social Studies classes taught by Judy Stewart and Will Brooks. The visit occurs during the State Government unit of the course and ties into the Social Studies Enduring Understanding – “Citizens can have an impact on their quality of life when they understand how government structures work and how to access them” and the transferable skill, Responsible and Involved Citizenship.
The purpose of the trip is not to tour the capitol building, but to allow the students the opportunity to meet with a legislator to gather information about a bill that is currently under consideration.
Seniors Kevin M. and Cody W. were interested in H232: An act related to motor vehicle inspections. Kevin and Cody were interested in the bill because it would allow cars to be inspected even if the “check engine” light is on. During the visit, they were able to sit in the committee hearing while it discussed the act and later got to meet with Representative Brian Keefe, a sponsor of the bill.
“I think the act is a good idea. It was cool that we got to share our opinions with Mr. Keefe.” -Kevin M.While they were at the Statehouse, Kevin and Cody also had the opportunity to become registered voters. They were given the voter’s oath by Lieutenant Governor Zuckerman in the House Chamber.
While they were at the Statehouse, Kevin and Cody also had the opportunity to become registered voters. They were given the voter’s oath by Lieutenant Governor Zuckerman in the House Chamber.
“It is important to express your opinion. Your vote matters”-Cody W
This was Cody’s first visit to the “golden dome” and he found it quite interesting. In addition to his interactions with legislators, he located the “whisper seats” where two legislators could whisper across the hall and only be heard by each other. They also were interviewed as part of a Channel 5 story about the Act.
The students will continue to follow the Act through the end of the session and develop a written summary of the process and experience. The students certainly gained insight into the government process and realize how easy it is to participate in government in Vermont.