As part of the overarching PBS Election 2016 initiative, PBS announced today additional details about ELECTION CENTRAL, an online destination of election-related resources and content with age-appropriate, thoughtfully curated information to teach K-12 students about the political process. Created in partnership between PBS LearningMedia, the free media-on-demand service from PBS that offers more than 100,000 digital resources for classroom use, and PBS NEWSHOUR, the ELECTION CENTRAL hub will be available at PBSEDUElectionCentral.com
Among the main features of ELECTION CENTRAL will be an interactive map of the United States, providing educators with opportunities to engage students in various aspects of the political process. The map will also display important historical facts about the candidates, laws and process.
“With deepened political coverage throughout the upcoming months leading up to and through the 2016 presidential election, we see the opportunity for a broader conversation by leveraging news and updates that educators, students and parents can use to cut through the clutter,” said Alicia Levi, Vice President, PBS Education. “With the launch of ELECTION CENTRAL, students will gain a new understanding of the topics that are important to voters and learn to form their own opinions in a constructive classroom environment, with the result of becoming more engaged in our electoral process.”
Content in ELECTION CENTRAL will be refreshed on a weekly basis and/or when timely events occur, for example, after debates or after primary elections. Features include:
• Tracking the campaign trail of candidates, including current and previous candidates
• Fun facts – general and state-specific
• The history behind the vote
• An explanation of the nominating process
• Candidate views on key issues
• Election-specific news stories curated from PBS NEWSHOUR
• Build your ideal presidential candidate interactive
• Access to hundreds of related resources through PBS LearningMedia
Additional student-focused projects will be announced throughout the election year, including the Meet Me in DC contest, for which K-12 students design an election poster focusing on issues that are important in their local communities. Two grand prize winners (one K-5 and one K-6) will win a trip for two to Washington, DC, to tour the White House, explore the National Archives, watch Congress in session and visit the set of PBS NEWSHOUR. Another contest, 50 for 50 , encourages students to write open letters to the 2016 presidential candidates with ideas on what needs to change in government. PBS will provide Social Studies teachers in grades 6-12 with a toolkit with resources to host in-class debates and give students the opportunity to discuss important issues with their peers.
PBS LearningMedia offers more than 100,000 digital resources aligned to national and Common Core State Standards. For more information on this collection and other classroom-ready resources available through PBS LearningMedia, visitwww.pbslearningmedia.org