One of Civic Nebraska’s core and first implemented program is our Capitol Experience Days. The Capital Experience program works to create connections with youth through all forms of government. When coming to a Capitol Experience day, the students get to meet with representative from each branch of government, and get an in-depth look at what substantive work they do.
This intensive experiential learning program requires students to 1) identify an important policy issue in their community, 2) research that issue, 3) formulate positions for and in opposition to that issue, 4) compose realistic legislation, and 5) write and promote their position orally in an authentic Unicameral committee hearing room in the Capitol in Lincoln.
Students do not only testify in an authentic setting, but also hear directly from high ranking representatives from each branch of government. Each participating school also has the option to create an awareness raising project that is displayed in the Capitol Rotunda.
The Capitol Experience employs very powerful teaching and retention strategies, learning by doing, and listening to student voices. Students are empowered to choose an issue that is important and relevant to them. They then have direct, hands-on experience in a real committee room in the capitol in turning the issue into legislation. Special thanks to all of our governmental partners for accommodating time in their busy schedules to talk to our students about their roles.
We are so encouraged by youth in the community making the governmental process their own and hope to create more opportunities for our youth to exercise their civic voice.