The Harvard Student Agencies is coming to Douglasville, GA to host a Weekend Politics Academy, a policy hackathon founded with the purpose of teaching students the process of coming up with actionable policy recommendations. WPA is a weekend program that travels to cities and schools around the United States and the world and teaches high school students the complexities of the policy design, solution-oriented thinking, persuasive writing and speaking, and effective teamwork. WPA aims to expose high school students to a practical political education early on in their academic careers. Our model is based on hands-on learning where students are faced with the same challenges high-level political decision makers face everyday. We require no previous experience for students to take part in the program.
WPA starts with the reveal of the policy issue that students will be expected to form a solution for over the weekend. After the initial reveal of the policy problem, we dive into the issue presented in our policy challenge seminar and present background information on the policy challenge. This portion of our program introduces students on how social, political, legal and economic problems can be analyzed, quantified and understood in a systematic and organized manner. Students are then encouraged to do independent research into the issue. After the seminar and independent research students attend workshops which are designed to help students better navigate the policy design process. These workshops cover the research process, the components of a policy proposal and the essentials of effective policy presentations. These workshops aim to provide students with the idea of how a policy pitch works and introduce them to nuanced thinking and decision-making. At the end of the program, the groups will present their solutions to the policy challenge in the form of a policy pitch contest and the program ends with an award ceremony where the top policies will receive awards.
Hours: 1pm-5pm on Saturday, November 10th and 9am-12pm on Sunday, November 11th