Bicen Battles and Triumphs in Hartford: Next Stop D.C.

By Mark Ballaro, Alex Baird, Cristen Yakush, Lisa Ward
EE Staff Writers

On Friday December 14th, the students of We the People won their state competition in our capital city, Hartford. We The People, better known as Bicen, is a club offered through the AP Government class. Bicen, short for Bicentennial and run by Ms. Boland, is a nationally acclaimed program, giving students the opportunity to expand their knowledge of the United States government and constitutional principles.

The club consists of 24 members divided into six units, with each unit assigned a specific constitutional topic. Each team competes in role play situations against other school’s We The People chapters, defending their position on the assigned topic. The competitions begin at the state level and then progresses to the national level based on the success of each individual team. Ultimately, each team’s goal is to succeed at each level and represent their state at the national finals in Washington, D.C., the final round that consists of testifying in front of a panel of expert judges.

While the competition is often intense, the class is also perfect for people with interests regarding government and politics.

“I have always been interested in studying government on a higher level than the basics and I thought, ‘Why wait until college to do that when I can do that competitively in high school?’” said Jason Nagel.

In agreement is Alicia Forsyth, who added, “I know taking this class is going to help me in the long run, as I am planning on majoring in Political Science in college. I have learned so much already between the actual curriculum of the course, and from the competitions. I definitely recommend this class to anyone who is interested.”

The AP Government class prepared diligently for the long-awaited competition. Students got an early start over the summer, which included studying the United States government. Once the school year started, the class was divided into the units and researched topics more in depth. Students studied the United States government and its principles and took a test on one of their textbooks during the first week of school.

During the competition, each unit has an essential question, along with three sub questions, and the students deliver speeches at the competition. The judges then question the units, and score the teams based on their responses. At states, all of the hard effort and time paid off for THS We The People.

“I love the people and how close our class has gotten. At first we didn’t think we had any chance of winning States but we all worked really hard for each other and it made learning fun,” said senior Alicia Forsyth.

Club Advisor Ms. Boland has once again successfully trained her class for another year. After winning their competition mid-December, there is a long break before the next round in late April. The Trumbull High We The People team looks to add to their success as they move on to the next stage of their competition in Washington, D.C.

Ms. Boland said, “I am so proud of my students and the hard work and effort they brought to the course this year. Through this course, they have not only become knowledgeable thinkers about the political system and state champions, but also more informed citizens. I have no doubt many of the alumni from this Bicen class will be leading our local and state government in the future.”

One of the participants Tyler Davis expressed his views on the next level of competition. “The only part we struggle with is trying to prepare without receiving our new set of questions. It is hard not knowing what we are going to be questioned on when trying to take advantage of this time we have. Once we have those, time is in our favor.”

Despite the long break between states and the national finals, Tyler along with other team members are ready to get back at it. “I am excited to have the opportunity to represent Trumbull on a national stage and anxious to get started on our new questions.”

Confidence is critical for Trumbull High when moving on to nationals. With six motivated groups, hardworking and dedicated students and coaches, Trumbull definitely has a shot of making the top ten at nationals. Be sure to check back in late April to see the results of the national competition in our country’s capital Washington, D.C.

Molli Rosen concluded, “Winning made everything that we had worked for completely worth it. All the sleepless school nights and late Sundays that we had hated before became completely irrelevant. We did this for each other, and I wouldn’t change it for anything.”

One Response to Bicen Battles and Triumphs in Hartford: Next Stop D.C.

  1. Ms. Boland says:

    Great victory and great team! I am so proud of them! Here’s the list: Kevin Bielicki, Quynh-Nhu Dao, Tyler Davis, Matthew Ferraro, Alicia Forsyth, Augustine Haam, Gulrukh Haroon, Madeline Krahn, Christopher LoBosco, Ryan McEniry, Nikhil Mistry, Erin Moore, Tyler Morin, Jason Nagel, Vishakha Negi, Jeffrey Netting, Ryan Norton, Marissa Piccolo, Erin Puglia, Justin Puzzio, Kevin Rivera, Molli Rosen, Lauren Shear, and Zachary Teixeira.

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