PreAP World History has stepped it up with Student led Mock Trials on Galileo!
On May 18th, 2021, Grade 7 students concluded uncovering mysteries of the Scientific Revolution in the PreAP World History course. Once they got familiar with key concepts and understood contrasting views between the Catholic Church and scientists in 16th – 17th century, they applied their knowledge in a mock trial with the most famous scientist of that era: Galileo Galilei.
Students were divided in three major teams: Team Prosecution, Team Defense and Judges. Fostering their team spirit, lawyers in Teams Prosecution and Defense were cooperating with their respective witnesses to build strong foundations of their case on whether Galileo was guilty or innocent of heresy once he confirmed heliocentric theory of the universe. In order to be prepared well for the mock trial, students conducted not only research about each witness to make smart questions, but also supported their claims with evidence from provided primary historical sources.
Once the preparation time was over, action in the mock trial started. It was exciting to see all students practicing their proficient communicating skills in desire to achieve their team’s goals. Judges and lawyers presented themselves with breathtakingly intriguing questions and creative strategies, which certainly turned several witnesses’ answer time into a “hot seat” experience. All in all, no matter if Galileo was found guilty or innocent in this trial, it was a unique chance to enhance students’ understanding of science and religion in historical context, in order to become truly global citizens.
-Lukas Holas, Secondary History Teacher