Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Our Government at Work (OGAW) Project

Our Government at Work (OGAW) Project

In this project, you will teach the class about one function of the federal (national), state (California), or local (County of Los Angeles or City of Santa Clarita) government.  You will present the project in an ONLINE format (Google Docs Presentation, Animoto video, or Prezi presentation). 

Your project should be visually interesting, will include NO MORE THAN 20 words per slide, and will include a combination of words, images, and audio or video clips as well. Avoid PowerPointLessNess! You can get more tips here:
Because this is an "Above and Beyond" project, you then have to take it to the next level.  You must include a visit to the location, interviews with employees who work there, phone/Skype interviews with those employees, interviews with people who interact with that department (attorneys, lobbyists, etc), and proof of how that first-hand knowledge was obtained.

Topics MAY include, but are not limited to, the following:
  1. How does the government print paper money?
  2. How does the government mint coins?
  3. How does airport security work?
  4. What do federal air marshals do?
  5. How does the bankruptcy process work?
  6. How does someone from outside the US get their green card?
  7. How does someone from outside the US become a citizen?
  8. How does the US Postal Service work?
  9. How can I get a copyright?
  10. How is copyright law enforced?
  11. How does eminent domain work?
  12. What is the process for a President to be impeached?
  13. How does the government protect our environment?
  14. How can a building be placed on the registry of historic places?
  15. How can young people get involved in government?
  16. How does the government investigate a plane crash?
  17. How does the federal government respond to a large natural disaster?
  18. How does the atomic clock work?
  19. How do we care for our nation’s veterans?
  20. How does social security work?
  21. How does Secret Service protect the President?
  22. What is involved if I decide to join the Army? Navy? Air Force? Marines? Coast Guard?
  23. What is a typical day like for a US soldier? Sailor? Airman? Marine? Coastie?
  24. What does a National Park ranger do?
  25. What services does our Parks and Recreation Department provide?
  26. How does the California DMV help keep our roads safe?
  27. What does the National Guard do? THERE ARE HUNDREDS MORE POSSIBLE TOPICS! - Please note that local public schools I am declaring OFF limits (we already know how public education works), unless you can come up with a specific topic that the average West Ranch student would NOT be aware of.
  • Figure out who might be in your group (you choose)
  • Brainstorm possible topics. Be prepared with a 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th choice, just in case you don't get your first choice.


In our next class, a couple things will happen:

  • Pick partners (groups of 1, 2, or 3 people)
  • Choose topics (by random lottery)
  • 20 Questions Assignment
20 Questions Assignment - These are the questions you will be seeking the answers to throughout your project.  Think of all the possible things someone might be curious about when thinking about your particular topic.

In our next class, you and your group (up to three students per group) will write down a list of 20 questions that are worth asking about your topic.  These are questions that you should be curious about, and questions that Mr. Ippolito or other students might ask during your presentation.

Questions should include things like:

What made you want to get into this job? What is the most exciting part of your job?
What is the most difficult/dangerous part of your job?
What is rewarding about your job?
What kinds of people do you deal with in your job?
How many people are involved in your department/field?
What is the average starting salary for someone just entering your field?
Plus many more . . . !

Sunday, March 2, 2014

City of Santa Clarita Student Poll Worker Program

The City of Santa Clarita is looking for high school juniors and seniors with a minimum 2.5 GPA to work polling places in the upcoming City Council Election. You can have a great "real world" experience with the electoral process, earn $105 for your time, and get "Above and Beyond" credit in Mr. Ippolito's class. The deadline to apply is March 7, so click here for more information and to apply: http://j.mp/1mYVj4b