JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Supreme Court of Missouri’s Committee on Civic Education is seeking applicants for The Constitution Project, a statewide competition for high school students that will be held during the fall 2017 semester and will culminate with championship rounds in Jefferson City.

The Constitution Project gives students a mock crime scene to investigate, report about and eventually try in a mock trial, all under the mentorship of local professionals in the fields of crime scene investigation, journalism and trial advocacy. Started six years ago at Houston (Missouri) High School by Texas County Associate Circuit Judge Doug Gaston, the competition expanded last year to approximately 300 students from 12 schools in three regions participating in The Constitution Project statewide.

“The Constitution Project gives high school students exciting, hands-on experience in possible future careers that are integral to our constitution and our nation’s system of justice,” Gaston said. “It is a fun and meaningful experience not only for the students but also for the professionals who help guide the teams from the local level right up through the state finals. Every year, I always am amazed by the competitors’ talent and efforts, and I am gratified when they begin to see the impact the constitution has on our daily lives.”

Competitors are chosen based on merit and their interest in the three disciplines. To be chosen, each community must pledge commitments from the school, local judges, law enforcement, media and attorneys.

Winners are named at the team and individual level for each discipline, and the individual award winners receive $1,000 scholarships from sponsoring organizations. Statewide cosponsors of the project include the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Missouri Sheriff’s Association, Missouri Police Chiefs Association, Missouri Press Association, Missouri Broadcasters Association and The Missouri Bar.

To learn more about The Constitution Project, please visit The application is available at Preference will be given to applications received no later than June 15, 2017.

For information about the competition, please contact Judge Doug Gaston at or (417) 967-3663

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