Alumna designs game on Electoral College

June 28, 2011 | Features, UToday
By Feliza Casano

Dorothy Schabeck showed off G.G.'s Red/Blue Electoral College Game she created.

Dorothy Schabeck showed off G.G.'s Red/Blue Electoral College Game she created.

A University of Toledo alumna’s game based on the U.S. Electoral College is making an impact in classrooms across the country.

Dorothy Schabeck, who graduated from UT in 1939 with a degree in French, designed G.G.’s Red/Blue Electoral College Game after watching the results of the 2008 presidential election because she wanted to share the information she had learned.

“I just started reading about the Electoral College,” she said. “I just had this idea to make a game out of it.”

Schabeck recently was featured in The Blade for creating the game, which she did with help from Teacher’s Discovery, an educational publishing company based in Auburn Hills, Mich.

The game is played by a red team and a blue team, representing the colors used to indicate Republican and Democratic states during the election. Players take turns answering questions, many of which Schabeck wrote herself, related to the Electoral College and the states.

“I got things out of The Blade and a couple books at my apartment,” she said.

When players answer correctly, they spin a wheel and are awarded the state the spinner lands on. Schabeck started making the game by using the map of the United States, and her original idea used a dartboard instead of a spinner.

The goal of the game, like the objective of the national election, is to gain at least 270 votes — the majority of the electoral votes needed to win the national election. The game is described as a good way to gain a basic understanding of how the Electoral College works as well as a review of social studies facts for junior high and high school students.

Dr. David Davis, UT professor of political science, said he used the game spring semester as a fun way to learn how the Electoral College works.

“It’s not exactly designed for the college level, but it’s a lot of fun,” Davis said. “The students seemed pretty excited and had a lot of fun playing the game.”

According to Alicia Manduzzi, merchandise manager of the social studies division at Teacher’s Discovery, the age level is flexible.

“We market the game to middle school and high school teachers; however, it is also being used in colleges and is really for anyone of any age who wants to understand more about the way the Electoral College works,” Manduzzi said. “Mrs. Schabeck will be helping students learn for years to come with this game.”

That isn’t all for Schabeck, who said she has several other ideas for games, including one that compares various towns and cities and a game about music.

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