The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate offers a uniquely powerful experience in civic education for students in K-12 and college. High-quality, professionally facilitated programs with immersive role-play invite students to become “U.S. Senators for a day,’’ debating and negotiating solutions to the nation’s most critical legislative issues inside an unforgettable, full-scale replica of the United States Senate Chamber and online.
Facilitated School Programs
The Kennedy Institute is offering both in-person and virtual school programs, facilitated by Institute staff, for the 2022-2023 school year. Students will work together to examine and discuss important national issues. Find out more about our program offerings and schedule your visit.
Today’s Vote in the Classroom
This teaching resource provides tools and materials to simulate the legislative process in the middle and high school classrooms. Choose from the library of real legislation to have students take on the role of senator and examine a topic on national importance.
Explore resources, activities, and lesson structures that support educators as they facilitate conversations on policy topics and controversial issues.
Civic Art Projects
How do we want to be represented in civic spaces? What qualities do we value in our leaders? How do we connect with our founding documents and national symbols? Encourage students to explore these civic themes and their own civic voices with these cross-curricular collective art projects.
Students and Teachers
This collection includes resources to help young people explore issues of public policy and civic action, as well as materials for educators.
The Kennedy Institute is proud to make voting come alive with “Just Vote” – a non-partisan digital resource and companion lesson plan to help students understand the history of voting rights and the importance of exercising their franchise.
Seat at the Table Project
“If they don’t give you a seat at the table bring a folding chair.” - Shirley Chisholm The Seat at the Table project, inspired by the life and career of Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, 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.
Civics At Home
These activities for children and teens encourage young people to think about how our government works, how they can make a difference in their communities and how to take action on issues that are important to them.
Lion of the Senate: Digital Exhibit
Experience and engage with our digital exhibit Lion of The Senate: The Legislative Accomplishments of Senator Edward M. Kennedy to learn more about the Institute’s founder.
Experiencing Exhibits FAQ’s
Learn the answers to some “Frequently Asked Questions” about the Senate, voting, civic leaders, history, and more, through short videos.
Discovery quality online civics resources from some of our partner organizations.
Welcoming Words introduces K-2 students to an important American symbol, the Statue of Liberty, and the welcome that she represents to immigrants. The program features an interactive tour with key stops of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute visitor experience including a visit to the Institute’s full-scale replica of the United States 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.
College students can take a hands-on approach to learning about representation and the legislative process at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute.
Professional development opportunities for educators offered at the Institute and at other partner locations.