Teens learn about government during conference

PUYALLUP – Nearly 300 Washington state youth and adults from around the state will learn how the judicial process works at the annual WSU Extension 4-H Know Your Government Conference in Olympia, February 14-17.

Teen participants will take on the roles of attorneys, jurors, witnesses and reporters in mock trials.

Washington Supreme Court Justice Richard Sanders will address the delegates at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 14 at the Red Lion Hotel in Olympia.

On Monday, February 16 mock trials begin with opening statements and prosecution at the Thurston County Courthouse from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The defense and closing statements take place from 1:30 – 3:30. Eight judges from Thurston and Kitsap counties will oversee the mock trials. Local attorneys will mentor teens who will act as lawyers and witnesses. Workshops covering forensics and handwriting analysis will be given to the delegates by officers of the Washington State Patrol at the Red Lion Hotel from 3:30 – 5:30 p.m.

The teens will be joined by lawmakers at a Legislative Breakfast at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, February 17. Washington State University President Dr. Elson Floyd will be the keynote speaker at the Olympia Red Lion Hotel.

The 4-H Know Your Government Conference is a hands-on educational opportunity for youth ages 14 -18. Over 75,000 youth participate in 4-H programs statewide in areas in areas including science, leadership, service learning, the arts, and technology.

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