STEM students hold mock trial for project
On May 29, 2012, as a culminating project in their work with "To Kill a Mockingbird," seventh grade Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM ) Academy G/T students at Nimitz Middle School presented appeals for the character of Tom Robinson. Before a panel of judges--Councilman Diego Bernal and lawyers Sylvia Cardona, Sam Houston, and Karolina Lyznik--the students gave their oral arguments in an effort to prove that Tom Robinson’s conviction should be overturned.
Working in defense teams, the students reviewed the evidence and testimonies and crafted convincing arguments proving that Robinson never should have been convicted. The students then prepared their briefs in the format that is used in an Appeals Court and wrote outlines for oral arguments in the manner of moot trials in law schools across the country. Lawyers Blakely Fernandez and David Evans helped prepare the students to deliver their presentations.
During the oral arguments, the judges questioned the students on the points presented and challenged the students’ conclusions. The students defended their positions well and earned many compliments for their efforts. The appeals process put all of the students’ skills and knowledge to the test as they, like Atticus Finch, took a stand for justice.
Posted on June 1, 2012