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Fifth-graders Analyze Population, Legislature Demographics in U.S.

Fifth-graders in Jennifer Steller’s class recently analyzed population and legislature demographics across the United States. Each student chose a state and, using population and legislature demographic totals for the state, calculated, analyzed, and compared population and legislative percentages for five sub-group categories for their state. “Students noticed that the population percentages did not always reflect the legislature percentages for those demographics,” Steller said. “Students then researched and proposed solutions for the state to help rethink the legislative percentages to reflect the population living in the state.” Students had a range of ideas, including voter registration campaigns and creating boards at companies to support diversity. “We then discussed that all people within the same demographics do not have the same opinions about whom to vote for, but it is important to have equal representation to ensure that all people of the state have a voice in the legislature. My favorite phrase is: ‘if you see them, you can be them.’ When everyone has access to opportunities, more people believe they can achieve their goals and dreams.”