A spell of eighth grade civics madness has taken hold, as students are competing to choose the most influential American.

Eighth Grade Civics MadnessAt Greater Johnstown Middle School, civics teacher Christian Wrabley has engaged his students in a project dubbed JMS Civics Madness. For four years, students have competed to discover who was the greatest president, member of government or historical figure ever. Students research the results, and compete to have their historical figure designated the winner.

This year, students need to find who  is the most influential American of all time.

Civics Madness is held each spring.

“I try to piggyback off the excitement of the March Madness tourney,” Wrabley said. “Each year we set out to answer a large research question: Who is the most influential U.S. president of all time? Who is the greatest military president in U.S. history? Who is the most influential member of the U.S. government in history? And this year: Who is the most influential American of all time?”

The tournament begins with a pool of 64 influential people, and goes through 63 matchups, with the result that one person takes the title. Students are assigned matchups, and have to research both persons.

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