Spectra students at Barnwell Middle School had the chance to experience, first-hand, the roles played in a modern courtroom. On Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017, Spectra students, parents and grandparents, faculty, and staff worked together to participate in a trial simulation, “or mock trial,” in the lecture room at Barnwell. The event gave students the opportunity to show what they had learned from the unit, and had the chance to apply it in a performance simulation.
“The experience that the students gained from this event proved to not only be highly valuable to them, but demonstrated how effective the Spectra curriculum is,” said Gifted Education Specialist, Heather Tomicich. “I portrayed the judge to keep the trial running smoothly and fairly. It was very exciting to see the students engage in the trial.”
The purpose of the mock trial is for students to engage in a real-world situation, and to demonstrate their knowledge of laws and trials within the curriculum.
From there, the students received their assigned court case, came up with their list of witnesses, and gathered all necessary evidence to prove their case in court. Students played the roles of teachers and faculty in the trial. They interviewed teachers and faculty to learn more about them so they could successfully portray their roles in the court cases. For evidence and testimonies, they used things like seating charts of classrooms, passes signed by teachers, and disciplinary action according to the Code of Conduct.
Barnwell is not the only school in the Francis Howell School District to participate in mock trials. Among others around the District, Francis Howell North High School (FHN) also has a mock trial team. Most Spectra students who transition from Barnwell to FHN participate at the high school level as well.
For more information about the mock trial at Barnwell, contact Heather Tomicich.