Student Vote 2015 — Our experience to date
Grade 6, 7 and 8 students at D. Aubrey Moodie Intermediate School in Nepean, Ontario are participating in the 2015 federal Student Vote. Four students sent us a blog to recap their experience with the program so far:
When we started to learn about voting we didn’t really know what to expect, we knew nothing about politicians, or what changes they wanted to make; let alone about voting itself. So we got one class in the computer lab to look up all the different parties and who they were. We then we picked our top three choices and were placed in certain groups as per Mme’s sorting of the choices. We have learned quite a bit so far and are hoping to learn more as the project progresses. Here are a few of the subjects we are learning about: the economy, health, education, environment and Canada plus the world.
Another important thing we have learned is the “right to vote.” I think it is important that everyone knows that it is a privilege that we even have a right to vote and that our soldiers died to protect that right. Some people around the world don’t have that luxury. That’s one of the reasons why we think that everyone who can, should vote.
We think politics are worth learning about because when you get older and it’s time for you to vote, you might not understand what you are supposed to be doing or why you should even vote. The elections project is helping me learn more about my government, and what they’re plan for Canada is. We should learn more about our government now because if we don’t, in the future we’re going be clueless about what’s happening in our own country. We are definitely more aware now than we have ever been when it comes to the government, and like we said earlier it’s important to learn about the people and the party you are voting for. We think it is important for kids/preteens to learn about politics at such a young age because if you don’t, you either won’t be interested in politics when you get older, so you won’t vote or you’re gonna vote for a party without knowing anything about them and what they want to do.
For our projects about the federal elections we are learning about the government and creating media campaigns. It’s interesting because we learned about all the different ways to make Canada a better place. Personally, we think this project, making a media campaign, is fun because you can make it however you want. For example, you can make a video, a poster, a slide show, etc. This project makes us interested in politics because we like looking at all their ideas and how it will affect our future. For example, one group is doing a project on the NDP. We are creating a ‘mock’ interview with Tom Mulcair (played by a student) and are asking him questions on economy, health, environment, education, etc. A little more than a week into the project we called one of Mme’s friends Tony which was really cool. Tony Is in the political science program at Ottawa U and is the uOttawa Elections Coordinator for the NDP. In addition to that, he also works for the NDP through the Vanier NDP Campaign. He talked to us about the elections and since he works for the NDP he was able to tell us some information about them too (which was really useful for my group). We also got to ask a few questions about the elections. Our plan is to interest other students in our campaign and influence them to notice and vote for us. To do that we are making sure that our media campaign speaks to our grade 6, 7, and 8 classmates.
We were able to connect with other sources than the internet, like Tony. Since my group is doing the NDP we had a lot of questions for Tony. And he did a great job answering them. It was an amazing opportunity. We were super lucky since not very many people doing the same project as us got the opportunity to talk to someone working in the party that they are studying. We are currently making questions for the first year political science students at Acadia University. We also had the amazing opportunity to talk to Amélie from CIVIX who shared why CIVIX is so important to our understanding of politics and rights.
As a class, we have learned and are still learning a lot about the political parties and Federal elections. If you are reading this you are probably part of the student vote, so we have one piece of advice for you, don’t only rely on the information you see on television, do your own research.
Hannah, Ryleigh, Freya and Nicole