Capitol Forum on America’s Future is designed to engage Nebraska high school social studies students and their teachers in discussion of our nation’s future in a changing international environment. Capitol Forum is a collaboration of the Nebraska Humanities Council and Secretary of State John Gale.
Classroom resources and exercises are provided to participating teachers to engage whole classes in consideration of global issues.The students study a curriculum addressing four futures for America, from strong internationalism to strong isolationism.
The daily news regularly deals with international issues such as immigration, nuclear weapon proliferation, terrorism, trade and the environment. Capitol Forum is now more relevant than ever for our youth as global matters become increasingly important to our daily lives.
Teachers select up to four students from their classes to participate in a daylong Capitol Forum event held each March at the State Capitol in Lincoln. The event allows the student representatives to discuss the U.S. role in today’s world and interact with members of Nebraska’s congressional delegation and state officials.
After the March event, teachers and students return home to share their experiences with classmates, broadening the event’s impact. These classes complete a ballot describing their view of America’s future role in the world. Results of the ballot are compiled and distributed to elected officials, Nebraska schools and the news media.
“Programs such as Capitol Forum equip and inspire our Nebraska students to understand the complex world in which we live,” Gale said.
If you have questions about the program, please contact Kristi Hayek of the Nebraska Humanities Council at (402) 474-2131, ext. 108, or Laura Strimple of the Secretary of State’s Office at (402) 471-8408.
Capitol Forum is sponsored nationally by the Choices for the 21st Century Education Program at Brown University.