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Posted at 05:05 AM ET, 10/03/2012

A new presidential debate curriculum for schools

Teachers and parents who want to educate and engage students (and themselves) in the democratic process have a new tool: a free presidential debate curriculum developed by Lynn University in Florida and available for free on iTunes.

Sculpted clay-head molds of Mitt Romney and President Obama at Madame Tussauds in Washington D.C. (HANDOUT/REUTERS)
Lynn was chosen to host the third debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney, scheduled for Oct. 22, on foreign policy. Administrators there decided to put together a K-12 curriculum that offers activities for each group, with interactive projects that include mock debates and multimedia content. Some of the material is linked to the new Common Core State Standards.

In addition to iTunes, the material is available on the Lynn University website’s debate page.

How did a little-known university of about 2,010 students students in Boca Raton, Fla., get chosen for a presidential debate?

The selection surprised even the president, Kevin Ross, who thought that the national exposure could give the 50-year-old school, a bigger profile.

He said he remembered how hosting a presidential debate in 2008 gave the University of Mississippi a national audience to send out its message of how much it had changed from the days of segregation.

School officials filled out a huge application — “how many sprinkler head, things like that,” Ross said — and hoped that just perhaps Lynn could land the vice presidential debate.

Ross was elated when he got the preliminary call — but as much as he would like to watch the debates in person, he is giving up his ticket, as are other Lynn administrators, so that students can sit in the performing arts center where it will be held.

The first debate, on Wednesday, is being held at the University of Denver and the second, on Oct. 16, at Hofstra University in New York. Lynn, founded in 1962, is the youngest school to ever host a presidential debate.

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By  |  05:05 AM ET, 10/03/2012

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