Social Studies

Students Vie for Office in Sandra Day O’Connor Video Game

By Jaclyn Zubrzycki — March 29, 2016 1 min read

The presidential primary season is in full swing, and a former U.S. Supreme Court justice wants to help classrooms get involved—virtually.

iCivics, a civics education organization founded in 2009 by retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, released an updated video game called “Win the White House,” in which students can manage their own presidential campaigns.

The New York Times profiled the first female U.S. Supreme Court justice’s civics education programs over the weekend.

O’Connor told the Times that while she had never played a video game before a few years ago, she’s now convinced that games can help students practice problem-solving skills. O’Connor described her hopes that the game will help spur more civic engagement and knowledge among young people:

Current U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor joined the board of the iCivics in late 2015. The organization was awarded a MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions in 2015.

Meanwhile, the movement to require high school students to take civics courses in order to graduate, led by the Arizona-based Joe Foss Institute, is continuing to make waves in state legislatures. North Dakota is among the states administering a civics test for the first time this year. In Colorado, where the amount of testing in schools has been the subject of debate, a proposed civics-testing requirement has drawn accolades from the Denver Post’s editorial board and staunch statements of refusal from some school district leaders.


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A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.