Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate
How do you inspire civic participation?
Senator Edward M. Kennedy envisioned the EMK Institute as a new model for civic education and public discourse on the challenges facing the nation. To fulfill that vision, ESI Design created the Institute as a portal into the legislative process and a training ground for the decision-makers of the future.
ESI designed a dynamic and participatory learning environment with interactive technology, highly visual and information-rich content, and collaborative activities that take place in and around a full-scale replica of the U.S. Senate Chamber. The result is an unparalleled immersive experience that directly engages visitors in the spirit of civic dialogue, compromise and collaboration.
The heart of the experience is a groundbreaking, dynamic group simulation of the U.S. Senate. Visitors become “senators in training” and engage in the legislative process through collaborative experiences facilitated by interconnected technologies. They explore the role of the Senate, its personalities, historic accomplishments and current challenges—all in preparation for a vote on a bill, either from today or the past.
As one of the most interactive museums in the nation, the EMK Institute offers visitors unprecedented opportunities to engage with the exhibits and their fellow visitors while learning through ‘play.’
In the Institute’s first year, about 10,000 students visited from about 80 different high schools and colleges, including Harvard, MIT and the University of Mississippi.