Senate Immersion Module

SIM Logo 2023 alternative Senate Immersion Module

The Kennedy Institute’s Senate Immersion Module (SIM) program will return in Fall 2023. Visit the Facilitated School Programs page for more information about our in-person and virtual school programs.

The Kennedy Institute’s SIM is a 2.5-hour in-person program for students in grades 8-12 that employs role-play and a simulated Senate session to immerse students in learning about the legislative process, key legislatives issues, and the skills necessary for effective law making and sustainable civics life — civic dialogue and negotiating differences by identifying common interests.

Guided by education staff and individual tablets, students take on the roles of senators, engaged in building a bill to address a major policy issue facing the nation. After students are sworn in as senators, they review their state and party interests, interview expert witnesses, discuss and select provisions and amendments to add to the bill and vote in the Senate chamber. The SIM provides structured opportunities for students to learn about and discuss real legislative proposals from the perspectives of their senator roles. They are encouraged to reach across the aisle and work with other senators to identify mutual interests that will benefit their constituents.

Working with students, educators, learning design, DEI, technology, and legislative experts, the Kennedy Institute has updated this award-winning program with new technology, new policy topics, and greater flexibility for teachers and students.

To schedule a SIM program, please complete our School Visit Request Form. For more information, please contact or 617-740-7000.

To stay up to date with the Kennedy Institute’s educational programs, sign up for our educator mailing list.

2023-2024 SIM Topics

The Climate and Energy Policy In this SIM students work together as senators to build a piece of legislation that focuses on how the United States should adjust its energy policy to meet the demands imposed by climate change, and what role the federal government should have in that process.

Election Reform This SIM asks students to weigh several possible federal standards for how and when we register and vote, and how we ensure election integrity. Working together as senators, students consider how each provision of the bill they build might affect voter confidence, racial equity, and states’ discretion to determine election processes.

You can learn more information about the SIM here

Learn More About the SIM