The Advanced Placement Government and Politics course calls for students to engage in a political science research or applied civics project. The project must connect with the course framework and must culminate with a student presentation of findings. Think broadly, as you consider topics and project ideas and think openly as you begin to consider your presentation format. Projects can range from how local city government works presented in multi-media format, to a competent and persuasive letter-to-the-editor seeking to alter public policy on an issue.
Local educators and school officials will govern which project types and subjects are acceptable. The AP Government teachers will guide the research and presentation process. They will also determine the scope and timing based on student age and abilities, available resources and transportation, and the community’s political climate. The AP Government teacher will assist students in choosing topics and will give them feedback. Projects can be group-based or individual, also determined by local teacher, but in either case should involve or end with a formal presentation to an actual audience.
Any projects that satisfy this course should encourage student engagement in a sustained, real-world activity that deepens understanding of course content and helps develop the disciplinary practices tested on the national exam. A good project will apply course concepts to actual political issues, institutions, people, procedures, interaction, and/or policymaking. The key is choosing an appropriate issue or inquiry. What question or questions are you ultimately asking? Whether researching and writing a traditional research paper or scripting and cutting a digital documentary, what are you trying to answer? Like a political scientist, you might answer a central question, or as a citizen activists, you might shine light on an issue, persuading others, or even institute or change a policy.
Here is a Civic Engagement Project Handout & Rubric (PDF) that could be useful.