Visiting the EMK Institute for the United States Senate

Senator Kennedy's Senate Office

Please provide a description of your venue and why it would be attractive to student groups?

The only student venue in the country like this. A great partner with the history of the American Revolution in Boston. Deliberation, Negotiation, Debate and Role-Play are the tools students use to engage in the Senate Immersion Module (SIM). At the Edward M. Kennedy Institute’s full-scale reproduction of the U.S. Senate Chamber. Using tablet technology, students work together to create a bill on a historic issue or current policies affecting the country.

What options do teachers have regarding the EMK Institute?

The SIM (Senate Immersion Module) is a 2.5 hour program for 8th-12th graders that can be scheduled throughout the academic year.

The SIM Program

Morning Business …Using tablet technology, students are assigned their Senator role and sworn in as Senators.
Nominee and Subcommittee Hearings
Students interview expert witnesses to add provisions to the bill and consider presidential nominees.
Amendment & Debate Preparation And Full Committee Hearings
Amendments are debated and added to the bill. Students prepare speeches on proposed amendments.
Final Action
The SIM concludes with the presentation of floor speeches and a roll call vote on the final bill.

Click here to see the SIM Information Sheet

Senator in Training Program

Coming in the Fall of 2015, the Senator-in-Training Program gives students in grades four to seven the opportunity to step into the role of a new U.S. Senator. Using interactive tablets provided by the Institute to choose their own party and state, they learn about the history and traditions of the Senate, engage in lively debates, and end their experience in the Institute’s Senate Chamber to vote on a bill. Teachers may sign up now for Fall programs by contacting the Institute.

Issue of the Day Program

The Issue of the Day provides visitors with an interactive pathway through the Institute’s exhibit experiences. Visitors will first encounter the Issue as a poll question in Orientation Theater, and the topic will be the focus of activities throughout their time at the Institute. In the Today’s Vote Program, visitors will get the chance to cast their vote in the Institute’s Senate Chamber on a bill inspired by real legislation related to the Issue of the Day. In 2015, the Institute will feature three rotating Issues of the Day—Immigration, Health Care, and Civil Rights. Find out more below about these issues.

How large does a school group have to be to enjoy the Senate Immersion program?

30 to 100 students can experience this hands-on approach to learning about representation and the legislative process.

Do you provide the teacher and students pre visit material?

For each SIM, the EMK Institute provides free, downloadable, pre-and post-lesson plans that prepare students for the SIM experience. “Being a Senator” accompanies every SIM and introduces students to the process of representation and the role of senators. In addition, there are lesson plans to prepare students for the specific content addressed in the SIM.

For more information:

For a student trip to Boston with the EMK Institute as part of the itinerary: