Date of Presentation


Name of Conference

American Educational Research Association

Date of Conference


Location of Conference

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Document Type

Conference Presentation


School of Education, Leadership, and Public Service


Research on campaign simulations usually involves long-term collegiate activities. Our research adapted materials from the American Association of University Women and Running Start’s “Elect Her–Campus Women Win” college workshops to create a short-term campaign simulation for use in high school social studies classrooms. Sixty-six students in three high school Advanced Placement US Government classes engaged in a two-day communications-focused elections simulation workshop. Differences in civic engagement knowledge between pre- and post-surveys reached statistical significance. Students’ qualitative responses revealed gains in understanding of the role of student government in allocating money, low-cost advertising, and use of “surrogates” to disseminate campaign positions. Improvement in students’ elevator speeches was particularly impressive. Results indicate simulations of short duration can be effective in influencing students’ knowledge of civic engagement when the knowledge is actively used in the simulation exercise.