SUNSET HILLS, Mo. (KSDK) - While Cardinals have yet to set a formal date for the beginning of the papal conclave to select the next pope, one conclave is already moving forward - in St. Louis County of all places.

Students at St. Justin Martyr Middle School in Sunset Hills are recreating the process of picking a pope as part of the lesson plan. They've researched the candidates to replace Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, and they're lobbying for their papal picks.

Their teacher, Mrs. Killian, has dutifully recreated the process, right down to the white smoke used to signify the successful election of a new pope.

Students file into the facility at the school church and lock the doors. The students must then take an oath, like the cardinals at the Vatican, before casting their ballots.

And these students go outside to see if they have a two-thirds majority needed for a practice pontiff. In the end, the smoke is black, which means no pope just yet.

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