Election Lab

Election Lab classroom with 8 election years
Players: 2-4 per game Ages: 8 to adult Grades: 4th to 12th Standards Met: NGSS, CCSS, C3, CTE


Election Lab lets students think like campaign strategists.

This innovative computer/boardgame hybrid flips the roles of voter and candidate, by giving the student the job of campaign manager, with the task of finding a winning combination of swing states to become President.

Using actual polling data mapped to a strategic electoral map, pairs of students must deploy their limited resources across the map to defend the states they need to win. These deployments are done in secret, hidden from the opposing team. Once both teams have their deployments in place, the swing state battle begins!

By placing students in the roles of the campaigns, they are confronted with the same strategic dilemmas that the candidates faced. By reliving the election, history comes alive. The advantage of playing several simultaneous games in the classroom is that gameplay data can be compared to historic outcomes. These comparisons are filled with surprises:

  • how close was the election of 1876?
  • did Lincoln win in 1860 because the Democratic Party split?
  • how likely was Trump to win in 2016? or in 2020?

This educational course meets the following Standards:

  1. The Common Core State Standards for critical thinking, cross-disciplinary approaches to problem solving, and immersive learning in real-world scenarios.
  2. NGSS practices of asking questions, using models, analyzing and interpreting data, using Mathematics and Computational Thinking, Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions, Engaging in Argument from Evidence, Obtaining, Evaluating and Communicating Information.
  3. NGSS cross cutting concepts: Patterns, Cause and Effect, Scale, Proportions and Quantity, Systems and System Models, Structure and Function, Stability and Change, Influence of Engineering, Technology and Science on Society

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