Classroom Exchanges Project

The Classroom Exchanges project of the National Constitution Center inspires students to explore fundamental questions about the U.S. Constitution. Using the National Constitution Center’s Interactive Constitution – with supporting materials, videos, and lesson plans – the Classroom Exchanges project creates opportunities for students to engage in informed, civil dialogue about current constitutional issues relevant to 21st-century learners. Students build deep understanding of constitutional content as well as skills to engage in civil dialogue. The highlight of the initiative is a series of online, synchronous Classroom Exchanges in which students from around the country lead and participate in Constitutional Conversations, sharing and expanding their understandings the U.S. Constitution with peers within and beyond their classrooms. Experienced legal professionals and federal judges serve as volunteer moderators for the Exchanges.

The Classroom Exchanges project began as a pilot in 2017 called the “Lauder Project,” and was announced on Constitution Day, the national day observed each year on September 17 to commemorate the signing of the Constitution on September 17, 1787. One year later, on Constitution Day 2018, the Project expanded with the piloting of the online, synchronous Classroom Exchanges. During the pilot phase of the program, 26 classrooms, totaling approximately 650 high school students, registered for 13 Classroom Exchanges. Classrooms from 19 states registered for the first Classroom Exchange, making the Constitutional Conversation a truly national discussion.

On Constitution Day 2019, a national expansion of the project was announced with major funding provided by a unique coalition of funders – the Bezos Family Foundation, the Charles Koch Foundation, and the Laura and Gary Lauder Family Venture Philanthropy Fund. A key partner in the Classroom Exchanges project is the College Board who is encouraging all 25,000 Advanced Placement teachers to sign their students up for the Exchanges. The National Constitution Center expects to reach over 10,000 students in the 2019-2020 school year and grow the reach of the program from there as part of the three years of funding announced.

Learn more at the Classroom Exchanges project website.


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