Friday morning, eighth-grade scholars at the Christa McAuliffe Regional Charter School in Framingham had the opportunity to ask questions of the school's state representatives and state senator as part of the first-ever state legislator day at the middle school.
Sen. Karen Spilka, who grew up in New York City, wanted to be a diver when she was younger. She started her political career as a social worker, after graduating from Northeastern University she told a classroom full of eighth-grade scholars.
Rep. Tom Conroy said an issue close to his heart is trying to solving homelessness.
Representatives David Linsky and Alice Peisch talked to students about how long it takes a bill to become a law, how many bills sit in committee and never make it out for a vote and what happens when a bill becomes and a law and if laws ever end.
The students asked the legislators what inspired them to get involved in politics and government. They asked them how they could get involved, as middle school students. Charter school students are required to perform community service hours in order to graduate.
Other state representatives who participated included Tom Sannicandro, Chris Walsh and Carolyn Dykema.
Eighth grade students who helped lead the discussion with legislators in the classrooms posed with the government leaders for a photo at the end of the event. Those students included: Adam Karofsky of Framingham, Mahmed Kasin of Framingham, Sasha Logan of Framingham, Alessandra Miranda of Framingham, Mary Sherwin of Framingham, Ariel Steinsaltz of Framingham, Julianne Kelleher of Natick, Alex Kelleher of Natick, Jenny Gittins of Southborough, John Doherty of Sudbury and Mackenzie Matckie and Lucas Vanslette, both of Upton.
Before the event began, parents of some of the sixth, seventh and eighth grade students talked to the legislators about why they chose this school for their child and why they think the school does a good job.
The charter school, located in downtown Framingham, first opened in 2002 as the Framingham Community Charter School.
The school was renamed in 2005 to honor teacher, astronaut, and former Framingham resident and student, Christa McAuliffe.
The school is one of 15 Expeditionary Learning Schools in Massachusetts, its curriculum is focused on building leadership in students through an active, hands-on learning to ensure students have the knowledge, skills, and civic mindedness to succeed both inside and outside of the classroom.
Students are selected for the regional public charter school via a lottery. Lottery is open to students in Ashland, Framingham, Holliston, Hopkinton, Marlborough, Natick, Southborough and Sudbury. If the slots are not filled for the following fall, the slots are open to students in other communities.
Last year, there was a large wait list for entrance into the sixth grade.
The lottery for fall 2013 is Feb. 7.