Thursday, October 25, 2012

Election -- Political Science Math Project

Romney vs. Obama vs. Colbert
And here we are by popular demand. My new readers have been pushing me to do something for the upcoming election and I have tried to fill their need with some mathematical goodness in the form of a new 21st Century Math Project. I wrote this project so that it'd fit equally well in a Middle School or High School classroom. Do it before the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

Name: The Election
Suggested Grade Level: 7-12 (Algebra skills)
Math Concepts: Percents and Data Analysis
Interdisciplinary Connections: Politics, Social Studies, Election
Teaching Duration: 2-3 Days (can be modified)
Cost: $5 for a 18 Page PDF (1 project and handouts) 
PDF Version: Election @ TPT

The Product: Students will analyze an alternative method to selecting the President. Students may propose their own alternatives.

What's an Election?
Bring the 2012 Election into your classroom with a few authentic challenges that will push your students citizenship and build Election vocabulary across contents! It's so authentic Obama and Romney might throw down right in the middle of your classroom. Okay not really, but it's still cool!

Students will use the skills percents and data analysis to solve authentic election problems. I have found that students actually no very little about how the President is elected. Most think it's a popular vote. Some have an inkling that the Electoral College exists. For Middle Schoolers and High Schoolers this might be the first election that they've been old enough to know kinda what's going on. Fill a need of democratic citizenship and immerse them for a couple days in Election themed mathematics. In all, it is two different assignments --

-- "Battleground States" -- students will analyze tables and graphs of recent Presidential Election to understand the difference between "safe" states, "battleground" states and the differences in funding and campaign stops between them. Why exactly does Obama and Romney practically live in Ohio and Florida? Students will discover this for themselves.

-- "The Electoral College" -- students use a hypothetical Alternative Method to decide the President! Many take issue with the Electoral College so students will compare the actual results with the Alternative to see if there is any difference in who would have been President!

I listen to my peoples! If you want a 21st Century Math Project I will make you a 21st Century Math Project. Oh yeah... and go vote and stuff. 

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