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Aiken County students learn about government from S.C. congressman

Aiken County students learn about government from S.C. congressman

Students at the Aiken Scholars Academy on Friday had the chance to learn civics and government from someone involved in those matters every day.

U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, a South Carolina Republican, visited the USC Aiken-located high school that morning, stopping in at two classrooms and ultimately fielding questions from students for about an hour.

The questions asked – well prepared and informed, academy principal Martha Messick said – touched on a breadth of historical and contemporary topics.

One student asked about Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Another inquired about the number of bills passed this year. A third student – not the last student to ask a question, either – asked what chamber, House or Senate, is more powerful. Messick asked Wilson about the legislative process.

Wilson answered all the questions and more.

"What a great institution this is," the congressman later said.

Messick said she was pleased with Wilson's visit because it gave the students a hands-on, in-person look into the nation's government. The principal described Friday's event as "intimate" and engaging.

"Anyway we can expose them to the real world" is a good thing, she added.

Wilson's question-and-answer session coincided with the students' new U.S. government learning unit as well as a mock Congress that's in the works.

During his stop-in, Wilson asked who would be representing U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott, the two Republicans from South Carolina, during the school's mock Congress.

Two students raised their hands. Wilson then praised the students and the senators.

The Aiken Scholars Academy represents a partnership between USCA, a top regional public college, and the Aiken County Public School District.