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EXPLO Brings High Schoolers Together in Groups Online for Presidential Debates

Following each of four presidential debates during the month of October, American students will have the chance to get together online and discuss them with peers from across the country. "Join the Debates" is a joint initiative led by EXPLO and supported by the nonprofit, non-partisan Commission on Presidential Debates. EXPLO is a 36-year-old organization that brings groups of students in grades four through 12 together for summer experiential and academic activities.

This latest project is intended to encourage "meaningful conversation and demonstrate that reasonable people can disagree--and that there's a civil way to make that happen," said Moira Kelly, executive director of EXPLO.

Added Morgan, a student from Maryland, "What got me excited about Join the Debates was the fact that I could get different perspectives--a high school student in California isn't going to have the same perspective as a high school student from Texas."

After each debate--three involving the presidential candidates and one with the vice presidential candidates--high school students with different backgrounds will be pulled together online using Google+'s Google Hangout and guided by trained college students who will facilitate the conversations.

The debates, which run from 9 to 10:30 p.m. Eastern time, take place on October 3, 11, 16, and 22.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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