Stobel said the amount of work students do on bogus experiments could almost be equated to a ninth grade because of its academic accuracy and the time students spend on their time. Attorney Coach Bell Island who has been assisting Gering’s teams since 1999, they only have one or two exercises per week as a group, but much of the preparation consists of taking the materials home to study and develop questions for the Witnesses .
Despite the amount of work the extracurricular class requires, the students have stated that they wanted to enjoy the competitive aspect and see where they could take their team this year as both teams from Gering competed against each other in last year’s district finals to compete for the state to qualify.
“It’s been a lot of fun so far, definitely a new experience. It takes a lot of time, ”said the second Emily Coakley, who is in her first year of the mock trial. “It can be stressful, but it’s fun.”
To Stobel and Iceland, the life skills these students learn through this activity are invaluable, even if none of them pursue a legal career path.
“Because as soon as the process begins, we trainers are completely free. We have to sit in the back; We are not allowed to communicate or we could be disqualified. So there are no timeouts. You are on your own, ”said Stobel. “That kind of independence, you know, ability to use critical thinking and public speaking – these are the things that you will have with you for a long time.”