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High school students will intellectually and verbally wrestle with America’s weightiest issues from Tuesday through Friday.

Legislators for a day from 21 Department of Defense Dependents Schools throughout Europe will meet in Heidelberg, Germany, for the annual Model U.S. Senate program.

“It’s a great activity,” said Frank O’Gara, DODDS spokesman. “You’ll meet a lot of high-powered kids.”

In previous sessions, student senators have grappled with issues such as gay marriage, contraceptive distribution in schools and aid to Israel.

Other students will play the part of lobbyists.

Participants research current events, pen bills for debate in caucuses, in lobbying and committee hearings and lastly, before the entire senate.

The young legislators and lobbyists spent time researching parliamentary procedure in their respective schools.

Coaches used electronic discussion forums to prepare.

And during the sessions, students will use wireless Internet connections to research and to read bills.

Participating students will arrive from Alconbury and Lakenheath high schools in England; Ansbach, Bad Aibling, Bamberg, Giessen, Hohenfels, Kaiserslautern, Mannheim, Ramstein, Vilseck and Wiesbaden schools in Germany; A.T. Mahan High School in Iceland; Aviano, Naples and Sigonella schools in Italy; Incirlik, Turkey; Lajes High School, Azores; and Rota High School in Spain.

For more information, contact Robert Lykins, student activities coordinator, via DSN at 338-7372 or commercial telephone at 49-611-380-7372.

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