n The SIM program is available
weekdays throughout the school
year and by special arrangement
during the summer.
n It offers a 2½-hour hands-on
n Reservations are required. The
institute prefers four weeks’ notice.
n The SIM can accommodate groups
of 30 to 100.
n To set up a visit and find out how to
participate, e-mail the EMK Institute
S chool trips to Washington, D.C., are nothing new. But two groups of students and teachers
from Sutton High School visited the
U.S. Senate in March without ever
Well, not exactly.
What they visited was a full-scale
replica of the Senate chamber at the
new Edward M. Kennedy Institute for
the United States Senate on the campus
of the University of Massachusetts
in Boston. The institute also houses a
replica of Senator Kennedy’s Senate
office as well as exhibits that showcase
the senator’s career and teach
participants about the workings of the
Kennedy served as a U.S. senator
from Massachusetts for nearly 47 years.
The institute was dedicated on
March 30, and the event was attended
by President Barack Obama, Vice
President Joe Biden, both U.S. senators
from Massachusetts and state officials.
The 69 Sutton High School seniors
who visited on March 11 were among
the first to get a look at the institute
and experience the “Senate Immersion
Module,” or SIM. The SIM program
offers the opportunity for up to
100 people, especially students and
educators, to role-play the parts of
U.S. senators and experience the
legislative process of proposing,
deliberating, debating and passing —
or not passing — a bill.
The students were accompanied
by teachers Michael Whittier, Gretchen
Dauplaise and Ryan Wandyes; nurse
Nancy Corey; and paraprofessionals
Patricia Kazarian and Linda Jernberg.
Superintendent of Schools Theodore F.
Friend also participated.
“Students are here to learn about
the legislative process and how it’s
supposed to work,” said Whittier, who
teaches American government and
criminal justice at the high school.
“And hopefully, they’ll gain a better
insight into how they might be part of
the democratic process.”
Whittier was a member of the
MTA Board in 2009 when it voted to
make a substantial contribution to help
fund the institute.
“I remember thinking that such
a project would be great for our
students,” Whittier said. “At that time
I couldn’t imagine what is now the
“It was a grand vision that we
shared and they have achieved,” he
added. “I personally have never seen
an idea become a vision and then a
reality so successfully.”
On their March 11 visit, Whittier
said, he and his students “all sat in
the Senate chamber, and each of us
represented a particular senator from a
particular state and party.”
“We typed in our names on
tablets, which gave us profiles — but
not the names — of the senators we
were supposed to represent. We were
instructed to speak and vote not from
our own conscience and convictions,
but from the convictions of the senators
we represented,” he explained.
“The hardest part for me was
being a Republican senator from the
South,” Whittier added with a laugh,
“and one who had never voted for an
education bill in his life.”
At one point, a UMass student
helping to facilitate the module acted
as the nominee for director of the
Department of Homeland Security.
The acting senators questioned
him on the rule of law regarding
information-gathering and other
aspects of the department.
Students and educators experience the Senate Immersion Module.
Photo by Bob Duffy
Summer college program for new students
For more information, please contact:
Marcelo Juica at firstname.lastname@example.org or
Mary-Ann Roberts at email@example.com Endicott College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
19 Temple Place, Fifth Floor | Boston, MA 02111
www.endicott.edu/boston | 857.265.3915
Endicott College Boston is looking for our next freshman class,
which begins this fall. Encourage your students to get a head
start by taking one or more of our summer college preparation
Classes for college credit during the summer:
College writing, transitions to college, computers or math.
To participate, students must:
• Graduate from high school or HiSet program by June 26, 2015.
• Apply to Endicott College Boston (and include financial aid forms).
Call or email for a personal tour
or for more information session dates.