Gov Team District Hearing


Pamina Yung, Staff Writer

AHS’ Constitution Team, often referred to as “Gov Team,” participated in a district competition that was hosted virtually on Zoom under the program “We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution.” On Dec. 5, the team went up against ten other schools in Kern County and was judged on the members’ answers to questions about the U.S. Constitution. 

“In Gov Team, we focus on various elements of the Constitution, including its application, the text, and history,” said Gov Team member senior Anthony Chiang.

Over the summer, Gov Team virtually collected in small groups every week to mingle and discuss diverse subjects. Near the start of school, the students were put into groups of four to five, each group one of six units that covered different topics. Each unit was given three questions and needed to create written responses for each. 

The six units focused on different aspects of the Constitution’s development, evolution, and influence, along with correlations to the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.

For about three months, Gov Team worked to prepare for the competition. However, the students would not know which of the provided questions they would be requested to answer until their turn during the competition.

Each Monday evening, in chambers and with the guidance of Ms. Megan Leahy and the unit coaches, the units practiced presenting and answering free response questions in the format of an actual competition.

During the competition, the members presented their written responses and were then asked about their answers and received free response questions related to their assigned topic. Each unit was scored based on its overall performance, so everyone needed to pull their weight and be on their best game.

“I think we did really well! We put in a lot of work and lots of hours, and everyone answered beautifully,” said Anthony. “It was definitely a lot more relaxed. We were able to cheer each other [on] and it was a lot less pressure being online instead of facing the judges.”

“Personally, because the competition was virtual, I didn’t feel as jittery as I anticipated,” said Gov Team member senior Justin Wu. “Spending so much time practicing definitely helped me feel more at ease.”

Due to the local district competition being dropped, AHS’ Gov Team was guaranteed to move on to the state competition in Feb. 2021 but participated in the competition on Dec. 5 to gain experience before heading on. The team placed second in terms of the highest score but was not formally ranked among the other ten schools. Best of luck to Gov Team during their February competition!


Photo courtesy of Ms. Megan Leahy