“If We Were President” Contest for America’s Classrooms Announced

9/10/2012 12:00:00 AM

WeAreTeachers and Pearson Sponsor Program for Teachers to Immerse Students in Civics Education, Build Collaboration and Problem- Solving Skills 

NEW YORK – Sept. 10, 2012 – As schoolchildren watch the 2012 Presidential Election process unfold day by day, how many will be inspired to think that they, too, could be president one day? With today’s launch of the “If We Were President” contest, sponsored by Pearson and WeAreTeachers, students can explore what they would do if elected to the nation’s highest office. The contest gives teachers a challenging, fun and engaging opportunity to personalize the historic events of the next few months for their students.

The contest is supported by free election resources, activity packs and interactive programs on the Pearson’s K-12 Teach the Election 2012 site and the Online Learning Exchange™ Election Series site. Teachers can use these resources to inspire their junior world leaders as they dream of changing the world – and potentially win amazing prizes for their classrooms. Guided by such questions as “What policies would you change?” and “How would you leave your mark?” students will collaborate to submit a creative contest entry through their choice of media, including videos, podcasts, posters and songs.

“We think this contest gives teachers powerful resources to excite their students and to make the election real for them,” said Sandy Fivecoat, WeAreTeachers founder. “We’ve worked with Pearson to organize meaningful and relevant classroom collaboration activities that will engage – and hopefully inspire - every student in the class.”

Pearson Vice President Lynda Cloud said, “Every four years, the presidential elections present teachers with a wonderful opportunity to make the ways that the U.S. government and our democratic system work come alive for students. Our contest provides the resources and framework for teachers to implement an authentic, project-based learning opportunity, mapped to social studies standards, that encourages students to collaborate and problem-solve.”

Through the activities outlined in the project-based contest, students will develop a deeper understanding of the American democratic system while building 21st-century skills, such as collaboration and critical thinking. Working together on their contest entries will help students better understand what the president does and prepare them to take part in civic life and become future leaders. 

The winning class will receive a grand-prize package that includes a Classroom Inauguration Day Party and possibly even visits from “past presidents.” Plus, the winning teacher will receive a $500 gift certificate from Pearson as well as an iPad 2.

The deadline for entries is October 18. The contest is open to grades K-12. Five finalist entries will be posted on the WeAreTeachers website. Teachers and students from around the country will then have until November 9 to vote for and elect the class that they want to see “inaugurated” in 2013. The winner will be announced on November 16 at the 2012 National Council for the Social Studies Conference in Seattle. For more information, visit

http://www.weareteachers.com/grants-contests/sweepstakes/pearson-election.

Students will have additional opportunities to have their voices heard in the weeks leading up to the election through Classroom Voices from Pearson’s Online Learning Exchange Election Series. For more information, go to http://olecommunity.com/election/classroom-voices.

About WeAreTeachers.com

WeAreTeachers provides a powerful online community for teachers, combining the expertise of our member community, the resources and knowledge base of our education company partners and the momentum of social media to recognize and reward innovative teaching ideas. Visit www.WeAreTeachers.com to be part of our community.

About Pearson’s Online Learning Exchange Election Series

Pearson’s free Election Series blog addresses key campaign topics and more, providing complete, up-to-date learning resources and offering a forum for teachers and students across the nation to exchange information and share their views anytime/anywhere.  Online Learning Exchange provides a free Election 2012 Activity Pack for middle and high school teachers tied directly to the election. The activity pack includes lessons that explore the topics of political roots and attitudes, evaluating leadership, and voting through animated movies, student-centered activities and in-depth classroom simulations. At Classroom Voices, students can cast their vote in the Student Election Polls from My Voice National Mock Election or defend their positions in the Debate the Issues discussion forum. Classroom Voices is also recruiting student Citizen Journalists bloggers and video correspondents, ages 13-18, to keep us up to date on election issues that matter the most to them. 

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