By: Erin Holly McDermott, Editor-in-chief ‘23
On January 13th, Mr. Paravati’s AP Government and Politics (AP Gov) class traveled to Philadelphia’s Constitution Center. The trip, which was combined with members of the AP Gov class at Ramapo, was a new experience for many members of the senior class. With shocks and surprises, the Constitution-centered trip gave a new perspective to the historical document.
The itinerary was straightforward, as Philadelphia can be a long ride from Indian Hills, almost 2 and a half hours. The class was set to take a coach bus to Philly, attend the museum and live performance, grab some lunch, and head back. However, parts of the trip were derailed when the bus got into a minor fender bender, just 700 feet from the museum entrance. All group members were completely fine, as it was just a scrap more than anything else, however, it was jolting for many.
After the early excitement, the museum delivered a positive experience for students learning about the Constitution’s effects on daily life. According to the Constitution Centers’ website, their purpose is, “The National Constitution Center brings together people of all ages and perspectives, across America and around the world, to learn about, debate, and celebrate the greatest vision of human freedom in history, the U.S. Constitution.” Both schools’ instructors promoted the autonomy and independence of students, which was highlighted by senior Logan Render who commented, “I really enjoyed the self-guided aspect of the trip.” One point of enjoyment for students was the creative interactive nature of the exhibits, with judges’ robes to try on, phones that you could pick up, and a podium to be ‘sworn in’ on. The live performance, titled Freedom Rising was approximately 20 minutes long and detailed the history of the creation of the Constitution and its long-lasting implications.
After the performance, students from Indian Hills visited the gift shop. The class purchased “I’m just a Bill” tee shirts in reference to a nifty song about the legislative process discussed in class and took many pictures. Natalie Lorenzo, Class of 2023, commented, “This trip has been a major bonding experience for our class, from the chaotic bus rides to buying the t-shirts, I had a really good time.”
Then students were able to have many self-guided lunch options, including the notorious Philly cheesesteak, ramen, and Shake Shack.
Through and through, students appreciated the hard work put in by Mr. Paravati and the Ramapo AP Gov instructor to make this trip possible. Experiences such as this one create an avenue for students to enjoy their activities and classes, by making them interactive.