Students from more than 130 schools across the United States — at least two from each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia — participated in this year’s VOTES Project (Voting Opportunities for Teenagers in Every State), one of the nation’s largest mock elections, established in 1988 by teachers at Northfield Mount Hermon School. High school students across the country campaigned on behalf of President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, as well as third-party candidates, holding rallies, debates and other campaign events leading up to Sunday evening’s announcement of the winner.
President Obama received 316 electoral votes and Republican challenger Mitt Romney received 208. The President garnered 50.2 percent of the popular vote (27,107), and Romney 41.2 percent (22,252). Owing to Hurricane Sandy, five schools in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania were unable to hold mock elections, meaning 14 electoral votes were not distributed.
The largest nationwide mock election of high school students has correctly predicted the president in five of the last six elections. Northfield Mount Hermon started the VOTES Project in 1988 and it has correctly picked the winner in every presidential election except one: 2004, when incumbent President George W. Bush beat Sen. John Kerry. Organizers believe the results have been so accurate because high school students tend to reflect their parents' political leanings.
For the first time, this year NMH paired with StudySync (www.studysync.com)
The VOTES Project stokes the fires of political activism, organizers say, and the evidence is in the 80 percent voter turnout among students at participating schools -- nearly twice the average turnout in national elections.
“In this, the seventh presidential election for the VOTES Project, we’re celebrating students at Northfield Mount Hermon and across the country,” said Jim Shea, Northfield Mount Hermon teacher and VOTES Project co-founder. “The level of engagement has never been greater, affirming VOTES as not only a powerful learning experience for high school kids but as an opportunity to create a deeper understanding and respect for the democratic process. We value everyone’s participation and look to VOTES as model of how the classroom truly can be a showcase for our highest ideals as a nation.”
“StudySync was honored to be an integral part of such an important initiative as NMH's VOTES Project, demonstrating the power of technology to bring students – and ideas – together around such critical current events such as the national election,” said Robert Romano, CEO, BookheadEd Learning. “By incorporating the VOTES Project as part of our weekly SyncBlasts, students were able to voice informed opinions that could be heard nationwide and responded to by thousands of peer reviews, their comments adding a powerful new dimension to the voting process. Democracy requires discourse, a give and take of ideas with the best rising to the top. The VOTES project delivered through SyncBlasts has added a dynamic interactive experience to the democratic process.”
StudySync targets middle and high school students across the country, using technology – including video, tablets and social media -- to advance students’ reading and writing abilities. Available online, StudySync was created by leading national educators with the goal of inspiring higher levels of critical thinking and academic collaboration.
About BookheadEd Learning, LLC
BookheadEd Learning connects high school and middle school students to the great ideas of mankind through technology, multimedia, and a rich library of classic and modern texts. StudySync, its award-winning flagship product, uses web-delivered educational tools – including broadcast-quality video, digital media, mobile platforms and social networking —to help teachers inspire higher levels of students’ reading, writing, critical thinking, academic discourse and peer-to-peer collaboration. An AEC and SIIA CODiE Awards finalist, StudySync is the recipient of two BESSIE Awards and the EDDIE Award from ComputED Gazette, “Trendsetter”
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About Northfield Mount Hermon
Northfield Mount Hermon, commonly referred to as NMH, is a co-educational independent boarding school for students in grades 9–12 and postgraduate. The school is located on the banks of the Connecticut River in western Massachusetts near Gill, Massachusetts. NMH was founded in 1879. The school provides, “Education of the head, the heart, and the hand.” Our mission is to engage the intellect, compassion, and talents of our students, empowering them to act with humanity and purpose. The school enrolls 650 students who come from more than 45 states and 35 countries. NMH is a member of the Eight Schools Association, which comprises Phillips Academy (known as Andover), Phillips Exeter Academy, Choate Rosemary Hall, Deerfield Academy, Hotchkiss School, Lawrenceville School, and St. Paul’s School.
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