ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — At Second Avenue Learning in Rochester, CEO and Founder Tory Van Voorhis showed off one of the firm’s award-winning products: A learning tool called Election Edge.
Her team’s been working overtime updating the app with presidential poll data. Beginning election night they’ll load up the official vote as soon as each state calls it.
Election Edge is an interactive online civics education program designed for students in kindergarten through grade 12. Free of political rhetoric but full of raw data, it shows students how the U.S. elects a president.
“We have information on how primaries work and how they worked in the past,” says Van Voorhis. “What the electoral college is and how it works. We’ve got election history all the way back to 1789 and then we track the primaries and the polls all the way up to the general election.”
Election Edge is used in classrooms all over the country including the 8th grade Social Studies class at Victor Junior High School. Some of these students will be voting in 2024. Dan Taylor is their teacher.
“In the non-election years the electoral college might interest some kids, but others might sleep through that one,” Taylor said. “But this year they see it live and they see how it plays out and impacts them personally.”
“We can start to look at some states and ask why one is red or blue,” he said. “We can go back as far as we want. Typically I focus on the last 20 years or so, but everybody wants to see George Washington and this allows us to click on George Washington’s election!”
The app is non-partisan — and Van Voorhis says it was designed that way.
“It’s designed to be a safe space for teachers to teach students how civics works, how important their civic duty is, and how to model civil discourse at a time when it’s pretty contentious,” she said.
Election edge even allows students to run their own election, and though it’s meant for them it’s got something for political junkies too: a one-stop deep dive into American history, current affairs, math, science, and the race for U.S. President.
For information on Election Edge, click here.
For more information on Second Avenue Learning, click here.