Digital Democracy Contest

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Today we’re excited to launch the Digital Democracy Contest — a free web-based game for high school social studies classes.

Students learn how to use OpenSecrets.org and OpenCongress.org. Then they compete in teams to answer questions like:

  • How much money did the pharmaceutical industry contribute to Congressional candidates since 1990? [Answer: $94,601,549]
  • How often does Senator Hagan vote with her party? [Answer: 87%]
  • Which Representative sponsored H.J.Res.5? [Answer: Serrano]

Once students learn how to investigate Congress they reflect upon technology’s influence on government using this worksheet (pdf). If the teacher wishes, students can then complete original research tasks using Transparency Corps. Once vetted by other students this research will go on the OpenCongress wiki.

The Sunlight Foundation works to make our government more transparent, but putting government data online is just the first step. Citizens must be able to use this data. Projects like the Digital Democracy Contest help close the loop.

The Digital Democracy Contest was created by the students behind GNIC.org in partnership with the Sunlight Foundation. The contest is funded by a MacArthur Young Innovator award and based upon a college contest.

Today we’re excited to launch the Digital Democracy Contest with the student creators behind GNIC.org. It’s a free game for high school social studies classes and is funded by a MacArthur Young Innovator award.

Students first learn how to use OpenSecrets.org and OpenCongress.org. Then they compete in teams to answer questions like, “According to OpenSecrets.org, how much money has the pharmaceutica

government teachers. Students compete in teams to answer questions using government websites. We can provide it for free to high school government classes because of a generous MacArthur award and a partnership with the Sunlight Foundation

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