The U.S. Election Project

By Grant Helle

Let’s face it: Gen­er­a­tion Y – affec­tion­ate­ly known as Gen ‘Why’ – is not exact­ly polit­i­cal­ly mind­ed. This was all the more due cause to devel­op a project geared to ignite stu­dents’ pas­sion for pol­i­tics, in this case, solv­ing the rid­dle of the U.S. Elec­tion System.

The ques­tion posed by Leuphana Uni­ver­si­ty Lüneb­urg, the State Insti­tute for Edu­ca­tion and Media of Berlin-Bran­den­burg, eXploratorium/Life, and the Ameri­ka-zen­trum Ham­burg was how to gar­ner stu­dents’ inter­est in the U.S. polit­i­cal sys­tem while simul­ta­ne­ous­ly teach­ing con­tem­po­rary U.S. cul­ture and improv­ing their com­mu­nica­tive com­pe­tence in Eng­lish. This idea devel­oped into a two-month project, with spe­cial empha­sis on new media, such as Inter­net learn­ing plat­forms, MOOCs, and intercultural/democratic education.

In 2012, over 1500 stu­dents from var­i­ous schools across Ger­many gath­ered to take part in this now award-win­ning project in which stu­dents pre­dict­ed the elec­tion results with astound­ing accuracy.

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A group pho­to of the win­ning teams.

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