PITTSBURG — Students from five area high schools converged on Memorial Auditorium before heading out to several different government entities Wednesday.

Around 74 students from Pittsburg, St. Mary’s Colgan, Girard, Frontenac and Northeast Arma high schools took part in the Elk’s Student Government Day. The event is a joint effort between the City of Pittsburg, Crawford County and the Pittsburg Elk’s Lodge, and allows high school students to see how local government operates.

“It’s an opportunity to show students how local government works,” Pittsburg City Clerk Tammy Nagel said. “And they’ll also hear from State Representative Monica Murnan.”

Nagel helps set up the event along with Deputy County Clerk Larissa Bowman.

“It lets the students get more involved and hands on in local government,” Bowman said. “It helps them understand how to be active citizens in the community.”

The Elk’s Student Government Day has been hosted each year for around 30 years, and was originally started by Homer Cole. Originally, it only involved the City of Pittsburg and Pittsburg High School, but has since grown to encompass most of the area schools.

Students were split up into groups and shown several different government entities. One group toured the Beard Shanks Law Enforcement Center, watched a demonstration with the Pittsburg Police Department K-9 Unit and sat in on municipal court. Other groups toured the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office or the Emergency Management Services Department. Two groups conducted a mock county commission meeting.

The Elk’s Lodge hosts fundraisers to give away two $500 scholarships during the student government day. This year, Homer Cole presented the two scholarships to A.J. Lusker from Frontenac High School and Addison Edwards from Northeast Arma High School.

— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at choener@morningsun.net or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.