The Edward M. Kennedy Institute aims to be the ultimate destination for civic learning and engagement. Educational experiences at the Institute use immersive role play and simulation to teach civics and inspire the next generation of leaders. The Institute also offers professional development opportunities for those in the education field.
Senate Immersion Module
The Senate Immersion Module (SIM) is a 2.5-hour Senate simulation, for students in grades 8 and up, held in the full-scale reproduction of the U.S. Senate Chamber at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute. Students are sworn in as Senators for the Day and convene in the Senate Chamber to work together to build legislation on a contemporary, historical, or fictional topic.
Professional development opportunities for educators offered at the Institute and at other partner locations.
Senator-in-Training Tours for students in grade 3-12 include a tour of the digital interactive exhibits at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute and a grade-level-appropriate program in the Institute's full-scale reproduction of the U.S. Senate Chamber.
Pathways to Citizenship
Students learn about challenges facing modern-day immigrants in the new program Pathways to Citizenship. Students are charged with building a bill that defines a pathway to citizenship for four groups of undocumented immigrants: DREAMers, farm workers, refugees, and a general undocumented population.
This 2-hour simulation, developed in collaboration with the Harvard Law School Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program, focuses on legislative negotiation. Students take on the role of a member of the Senate or House of Representatives engaged in Conference Committee, the process Congress uses to reconcile differences between bills from the two chambers.
Seat at the Table Project Guide and Lesson Plan
“If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” – Shirley Chisholm Inspired by Shirley Chisholm’s famous words and life story, the Kennedy Institute launches the Seat at the Table project in Fall 2018. The Institute invites individuals, schools, and community organizations to think about why diversity of representation is vital and what necessary contributions we each bring to the table when we pull up a chair.
College students can take a hands-on approach to learning about representation and the legislative process at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute.