Posted at: 11/01/2012 6:21 PM
Updated at: 11/01/2012 7:15 PM
By: Dan Conradt
Students Turn Campaign Into Real Life Classroom
(ABC 6 NEWS) -- Five days and counting until election day. But some high school students in area got a jump on the rest of us on Thursday.
"Today (Thursday) is our third mock election, or election simulation," said Austin High School teacher Rayce Hardy.
“Voting not only for president, but also all the other offices that are going to be on the ballot on Tuesday," said AHS senior Bob Sherman.
Every four years, students at Austin high school to turn the nation into a classroom.
"Anyone can read facts out of a textbook,” high school senior Bob Sherman told us. “But when you see things on television, when you hear news headlines about who's winning debates it really makes it seem like it's a part of your life."
Teacher Rayce Hardy's advice to students, and voters, is pretty simple: “Be informed."
That's why part of this year's lesson focused on: "The role of media, how there's so many more options available, plus so many more voices out there," Hardy said.
“I think the debates would be a good example of how technology has had a huge impact," said AHS student Bob Sherman
“We had like an on-line forum where you would watch the presidential debate and the vice presidential debate and you comment about your opinion," added high school senior Helen Heimark.
It drew more than 400 postings.
"It at least gets the information quicker, one of the problems with it, though, is sorting it out," said teacher Rayce Hardy
“It becomes harder to cut through all the nonsense," added student Bob Sherman.
18-year-old Helen Heimark cast her mock ballot on Thursday -- and will cast the real thing for the first time next Tuesday
"It's exciting," she said.
And using the nation as a real-life classroom has given her a better idea of what makes a good president:
"You have to look at the ideas behind the candidates," she said. “They need to be able to rally the entire population."
And from high school senior Bob Sherman: "As long as the president is doing what he thinks is best for everyone in the country, I think that's the most we can ask from our highest official."
About a thousand AHS students took part in Thursday’s mock election. Results are expected on Friday.