Initiated in 1996, the Election Simulation Project emerged from a series of workshops led by Dr. Michael Krasner, a Queens College Professor of Political Science and co-director of the TAFT Institute for Government, and Ms. Lynne Greenfield, then Assistant Principal for the Humanities. Now an annual event at Townsend Harris High School, this program engages the entire student population at THHS in a simulation of participatory democracy modeled on the yearly election, including the New York City Mayoral election, New York State Gubernatorial and Senatorial elections, Presidential Primary and Presidential Election.
The Election Simulation fosters students’ developing understanding of the electoral process and critical thinking about the role of the media and special interest groups in elections in the United States. This curriculum innovation promotes civic-mindedness and has led to opportunities for students to work in local elected officials’ offices. The program is implemented and run each year by the dedicated social studies faculty at THHS — up until Spring 2017, coordinated by Dr. Linda Steinmann (THHS faculty member and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Secondary Education and Youth Services at Queens College), and Mr. Alex Wood (THHS Media Advisor and faculty member).
The school maintains its own Election Simulation website at https://elections.townsendharris.org/ which also includes links to previous years’ election simulations.
Additionally, videos of Election Simulation events, rallies, interviews, etc. are posted on YouTube. Here is a link to the first Fall 2017 Election Simulation TV show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ko-bKZc2blo
2017 Election Simulation events:
Sep 29: Kick-Off Rally
Oct 19: Special Interest Rally
Nov 1: Candidates Debate
Nov 6: The 2017 Vote