NORTHBRIDGE, Mass. ‒ Northbridge High School students elected President Barack Obama and Sen. Scott Brown to second terms and supported the death with dignity question in a nationwide student mock election conducted last week.
The school's Social Studies Department wanted students involved in the electoral process and gave them the opportunity through the mock election hosted by youthleadership.net.
Approximately 600 students ‒ freshmen, sophomores and juniors ‒ voted with their social studies classes on the mock election website. They cast ballots for all contested leadership positions as well as for three ballot initiatives.
“The website makes it really easy to tally votes and breaks it down so we can see exactly how Northbridge High School voted, as well as how students across the state and nation voted," said social studies teacher Stephanie Bentley, who has arranged for the school's participation in the mock election the past seven years. "It's a good predictor for what actually happens come election day.”
“I thought it was entertaining and gave all of us a reason to understand why the election is important,” said ninth-grader Shyann Holt.
Added student Angela Sinatra: “It made me have a better understanding of what goes on with the election.”
Heather Long wrapped up by stating: “It helps us get better prepared. In four years ... we are voting ourselves. It was a good idea.”
Bentley gave her colleagues a copy of the mock election results, which included the outcomes both at Northbridge and nationwide.
After Election Day students discussed the actual results with their teachers, stressing how the electoral college works and why it's important to vote.
Several races were hotly contested, so they learned that their vote truly does count.
Over the past six weeks, every student in the core social studies classes ‒ freshmen world history, sophomore American studies I and junior American studies II ‒ completed research projects on the national and state candidates. They then presented their findings to their classmates to help them make educated voting choices.
The project alternates every two years between gubernatorial and congressional races and presidential and congressional races.
Many social studies classes observed the election process as it was happening. Roughly 30 students also helped work the election as part of the high school's Citizenship in Action class. They passed out “I voted!” stickers and helped voters find their precincts.
To see how the Northbridge students voted, go to www.nps.org/node/3971.