WHITING | Students at George Rogers Clark Middle School received a hands-on look at the presidential election process Friday, presenting their own mock debate.
Math teacher Tracy Moyers and social studies teacher Christina Maldonado began talking about the possibility of students following the election soon after school began.
The middle school sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders are divided into teams and worked on the presentation.
The students talked about the election in all of their classes and conducted a mock voter registration using their student identification.
With a general election just weeks away, students have studied the Electoral College system and the differences between the presidential candidates and their views. They learned the Electoral College consists of 538 electors and that a majority of 270 electoral votes is required to elect the president.
In math, students worked on the percentages that each candidate might receive nationally and by state. In English/language arts, students wrote about what they learned.
In Friday's mock debate, four of the students portrayed the candidates, with Charisma Sanchez playing President Barack Obama, Martha Drojacki portraying Vice President Joe Biden, Brittany Sendejas playing GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney and David Gill playing Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan.
Clark Middle School student Robert Nicksic was the moderator, and other students sat in the audience, some with painted signs representing various states across the country.
Eighth-grader Carlie Petrus, 13, said she learned a lot about politics by studying the candidates and the process.
"I learned that not everything is black and white," she said. "There are different sides, and they have different beliefs. And you have to pay attention to the way they word things."