AP US Government and Politics | History School (2024)

AP US Government and Politics: The US Constitution

Master Teachers:  Lois MacMillan, Tyler Nice, Amy Palo, and Ryan Werenka
Course Dates:  July 11–August 15, 2024
Live Session Time Slot:  Thursdays, 5–6 p.m. ET  
Online Platform:  Zoom
Eligibility:  High school students (grades 9–12) 
Registration closed on Friday, June 28.  


Image: A. R. Ward, "The First Vote," Harper’s Weekly, November 16, 1867 (The Gilder Lehrman Institute, GLC01733.09)

Illustration from 1867 issue of harper's weekly showing an African American voting for the first time

About the Course

Understanding the history and application of the Constitution and its twenty-seven amendments is critical to excelling in AP US Government and Politics. This course will discuss the road to the Constitution, including an overview of its short-lived predecessor; the first ten amendments in the Bill of Rights and some of the Supreme Court cases related to those amendments; the Civil War Amendments, with a focus on the Fourteenth; and the contemporary application of the Constitution. Each class will include time for you to ask questions as well as tips and practice for excelling on the AP US Government and Politics exam. 


Certificate of Completion

To complete a course, you will need to attend 5 out of the 6 live sessions.

Please email historyschool@gilderlehrman.org with any questions.

Key Information

  • The course begins on Thursday, July 11, 2024
  • Classes will be held once a week for six weeks.
  • Classes will begin at 5:00 p.m. ET/ 2:00 p.m. PT.
  • Classes are 60 minutes in length on Zoom. They will incorporate a combination of lectures, sample exam questions, and time for Q&As.


Lois MacMillan will be the lead teacher for this course.

Week 1: Thursday, July 11: Introduction to AP US Government and Politics & the Articles of Confederation with Ryan Werenka

Week 2: Thursday, July 18: The Constitutional Convention with Ryan Werenka

Week 3: Thursday, July 25: Bill of Rights, Part I with Amy Palo

Week 4: Thursday, August 1: Bill of Rights, Part II with Amy Palo

Week 5: Thursday, August 8: The Civil War Amendments with Tyler Nice

Week 6: Thursday, August 15: Application of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments with Tyler Nice

How to Enroll

login, click register, complete form

You must have a Gilder Lehrman K–12 Student account to register for a History School course.

Registration is closed.

Meet Your Teachers

Lois McMillan

Lois MacMillan, a National Board Certified teacher, teaches AP Government, World Cultures, American History, and an elective on the American Civil War at Grants Pass High School in Grants Pass, Oregon. In her over thirty years of teaching, she has taught at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Recognized as the 2006 Oregon History Teacher of the Year by the Gilder Lehrman Institute, Ms. MacMillan also received Oregon’s Civic Teacher Award in 2015 and the Grammy Museum’s Jane Ortner Award in 2018 and was named Oregon’s 2021 James Madison Fellow and the 2024 DAR Teacher of the Year. Outside school, Ms. MacMillan swims a mile daily and cheers on her Lakers and Dodgers. If she got a tattoo of a historical figure, it would be Ulysses S. Grant standing at Cold Harbor, for “It is just what it is and nothing else.”

Tyler Nice

Tyler Nice has been teaching in Springfield, Oregon, for twenty-two years. He currently teaches economics and several college-level government, US history, and ethnic studies courses at Thurston High School. Mr. Nice was named the 2022 Oregon History Teacher of the Year by the Gilder Lehrman Institute and the 2019 James Madison Fellow for the state of Oregon. He lives a few miles from the University of Oregon and is a big fan of the Ducks. If Mr. Nice got a history-themed tattoo, it would be the text of Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Amy Palo

Amy Palo is a teacher and social studies department chair at Cornell High School in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, where she teaches 10th and 11th grade US and World History, AP US History, and a dual enrollment Government and Politics course through Robert Morris University. She was named the 2022 Pennsylvania History Teacher of the Year by the Gilder Lehrman Institute and the 2022 Social Studies Teacher of the Year by the Pennsylvania Council for Social Studies, where she currently serves as a board member. Previously she was awarded Pennsylvania’s 2018 James Madison Fellowship and the 2013 George C. Oehmler Award for teaching global affairs through the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh. Outside of school, Ms. Palo loves to travel with her husband and best friend and spend time with her twin sons, Theodore and Lincoln. If she got a tattoo of a historical figure, it would have to be a Mount Rushmore–type situation, including her history heroes Eleanor Roosevelt, Abigail Adams, Ida B. Wells, Shirley Chisholm, and Nellie Bly.

Ryan Werenka

Ryan Werenka has been a social studies teacher for over twenty years in the Troy School District in Michigan. He was named the 2021 Michigan History Teacher of the Year by the Gilder Lehrman Institute and serves as a teacher advisor for the National Constitution Center, Retro Report, C-SPAN, iCivics, PBS NewsHour Classroom, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Eastern State Penitentiary Justice Education Collaboratory. Outside of school, Mr. Werenka loves spending time with his wife and three children, especially when cheering on the Detroit Pistons. If he got a tattoo of a historical figure, it would be of Gouverneur Morris, obviously.