Whether your whole family has been a die hard Broncos fan for as long as you can remember, or you lived in Seattle for 10 years, this year’s Super Bowl was a big deal. Many people around the country placed votes or bets on who would win. Mr. Shields’ eighth grade history class is one of the many groups of people doing that.
“The purpose of this activity,” Mr. Shields said, “was for the students to learn about the Electoral College System, which is the process by how we elect the President of the United States. So I do an activity where we actually have a mock election. But since it is not a Presidential election year I do this activity before the Super Bowl.” Each student was given a paper that had a state and how many votes they have in the electoral college. Students recorded who they would want to win the Super Bowl on that paper and turned it in. Then, the fun began. Mr. Shields told his class who each state wanted to win. It was then put into the computer, Broncos or Seahawks. “I had a student on the computer click on the state with the number of electoral votes from that state,” Mr. Shields explained, “red represented the Seahawks and blue the Broncos. The first team to get 270 electoral votes was the winner.”
Many students, like Lauryn Davis, an eighth grade student at SJHS, found that if they had voted for the other team, that team would have won the electoral vote. That is, if they had a state like California, which had 55 votes, their vote counted more, but if they had Utah, which has six votes, it would not have made a big difference. Mr. Shields said that in all but one of his classes the Broncos won the electoral vote. However, the Broncos won the popular vote in every class. Most of the time, they won by a lot too!
This activity in Mr. Shields’ class not only taught students how elections work, but it got everyone pumped up for the Super Bowl.