Wilkes University students exercised their artistic and puzzle-solving skills as a way to learn more about elections, redistricting and that thing called the gerrymander. gerrymander and fix democracy.
The event in the Henry Student Center was organized by political sciene professor Tom Baldino, a member of Draw the Lines' eastern regional steering committee. DTL's Chris Satullo and Justin Villere also spoke to Baldino's elections class earlier in the day on campus, doing a demonstration of the District Builder mapping tool.
At night, fueled by lots of boxes of pizza and lots of soda, the students noisily competed to get the best time in the Put PA Back Together challenge, assembling a puzzle whose pieces were the congressional districts from the state's notorious 2011 gerrymander. Several excellent scores in the low 2-minute range were logged, but the winners with a sparkling 2:17 were two Wilkes professors working in tandem.
Students also churned out many clever drawings in the Political Pictionary and Draw Your Personal PA activities, competing to win gift cards from the campus Starbucks. The photo depicts students voting with colored dots to decide the winning drawings.
After being briefed on DTL's education and engagement mission and seeing District Builder, about a dozen of the students agreed to join mapping teams organized by Baldino and enter DTL's higher education mapping contest this fall.