Tuesday, November 3, 2020
Over the past few weeks, MPS students have learned about citizenship, government, and the electoral process. More than 13,000 students in grades 4K through 12 have taken part in a mock election, and results were announced on Election Day, November 3, 2020. The winner among MPS student voters is Joe Biden.
During social studies classes, students have spent time learning about elections with the goal of developing students as engaged and active citizens. Classroom goals include understanding the importance of voting and gaining a sense of power to impact change. In the social studies curriculum, students spend time analyzing information, reading primary and secondary documents, drawing conclusions, and using evidence to make an argument. The presidential election is a unique opportunity to draw upon all these skills within a real-world event and watch how the process plays out.
Virtual learning has introduced new challenges to the process, such as assisting the youngest learners with technology. Older students, who have become acclimated to virtual platforms and online surveys, were able to easily navigate to cast a ballot. A system of checks and balances ensured that students were able to vote only once.
Jennie Ekstein, social studies curriculum specialist, emphasized that experiencing the broad impact of the election is one of the most important aspects of the mock voting. “We want students to feel the responsibility of voting and know that they have a voice.
We encouraged teachers to make this a rich learning experience in citizenship,” she said. “Students love this activity each election year, and we believe they will become informed voters as adults.”
The final results of the student mock election are as follows:
- Joe Biden: 10,544
- Donald Trump: 1,680
- Jo Jorgensen: 226
- Brian Carroll: 113
- Don Blankenship: 43