SciCourt designs trial session plans for jury deliberation

Friday, April 2, 2021 - 1:15pm

Green Chameleon on Unsplash

Green Chameleon on Unsplash

With just three weeks until trial, Science Court students are preparing their final plans before trial on April 24th. Science team members completed research summaries while the legal team continued to develop arguments for trial. 

Madeleine Stankiewicz, a member of the legal con team, said she sees the voluntary service plan as a flexible option for participants. With the mandatory service plan being more restrictive on age, the voluntary plan provides more flexibility when it comes to age requirements to serve. As both legal teams continue to develop their plan, members need to construct arguments to persuade the jury for which option, a mandatory or volunteer service program, is a better solution to combat polarization.

During the week, students prepared trial session plans for various scientific domains. Each session includes topics and a central question for the jury to discuss during deliberation. There are fourteen sessions where the legal teams will question the science team members on their research to further improve their arguments. 

Science team member Minnerva Zou is studying the economic effects of polarization and service programs. A key question examined in the economic domain is how to measure the economic input costs of service programs? The input costs include the cost to advertise the program and necessary materials. 

“When it comes to the economic input value of volunteering, this can be calculated with how much it costs to train and resources for the volunteers,” Zou said. 

Calculating the economic output of service programs poses a difficult challenge due to several non-quantifiable benefits, including generated revenue and life skills, Zou said. This gives good reason to why the legal teams have their eye on other domains of research like psychology and sociology when developing their arguments. 

With Spring Break just around the corner for University of Minnesota students, Science Court members will take a break from their research to enjoy a well-deserved time off. There will be no update next week and we will return on April 16th, a week before trial.

Jury recruitment continues to be a large focus as the time to sign up for the jury comes to a close. If you’re interested in participating on the jury for Science Court, take the survey here before April 5th. We are asking for your feedback for this case with this form here. Catch up on the podcast episodes on Apple Podcasts and Spotify with the third episode coming this week. To stay updated, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @scicourt.

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