Virtual Field Trip: Constitution Day in Philadelphia

On September 17, Discovery Education celebrated Constitution Day with an exclusive day of events in Philadelphia, and we invited teachers and students nationwide to join us for a Virtual Field Trip to learn about the Constitution, the Founding Fathers, and the foundation of our democracy.

Students and teachers from all over the country watched as we conducted a live town hall with Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer , took a virtual tour of the National Constitution Center, and had a conversation with Judge Marjorie O. Rendell. With these two special events, we were able to share the meaning and history of the Constitution from Philadelphia to Los Angeles and everywhere in between.

The day began with a virtual town hall with Justice Breyer, who sat down with Jeffrey Rosen, the President of the National Constitution Center, to answer questions from students attending the event. Justice Breyer, appointed in 1994 by President Bill Clinton, has served a Supreme Court Justice for 21 years, participating in a number of landmark decisions and speaking out about his opinions in cases ranging from campaign finance to gun control laws.

Describing his job as the person who makes decisions for people who “get into arguments and can’t get over them,” Justice Breyer answered questions on issues ranging from the Court’s recent decision on the Affordable Care Act to the validity of decisions on “Judge Judy.”

Watch the full town hall with Justice Breyer with your class, it will be sure to foster discussions on the role of the Judicial Branch of the U.S. government!

In the second event of the day, we joined Judge Marjorie O. Rendell for an exclusive interview and tour of the National Constitution Center. Judge Rendell is a federal appellate judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, a seat she has held since 1997. Judge Rendell has been active in promoting youth interest in government since she was the first lady in Pennsylvania and is the co-founder of the Rendell Center for Civics and Civic Engagement.

Judge Rendell joined Discovery Education’s Aggie Alvez for an interview before touring the National Constitution Center, in which they discussed her role as an appellate court judge and the judicial process. She also fielded online questions from students on everything from the First Amendment to gender inequality on in the Courts.

We then went inside the cutting edge National Constitution Center. This included a visit to Signers’ Hall, which features 42 life-sized bronze statues of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention. Additionally, we visited exhibits that focus on the 13th Amendment, women’s rights, civil rights, and more.

Full video of this tour and the Q&A with Judge Rendell will be available for your classroom tomorrow (September 22) and accessible via our Virtual Field Trips page. There you will find special classroom activities and links to a variety of Constitution resources.

Want to catch up on the online conversation around Discover Education’s Constitution Day activities? Follow @DiscoveryEd with hashtag #DEConstitu

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