2013 Schedule of Events
The following schedule of events from the 2013 Middle School Presidential Inaugural Conference provides an example of the activities you can expect at the 2017 Presidential Inaugural Conference.
Opening Night Reception
A chance to meet and get acquainted with your fellow Middle School Inaugural Scholars.
Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara P. Bush, daughters of 43rd President of the United States George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush.
(Keynote presentations moderated by Norah O’Donnell, Chief White House Correspondent, CBS News)
Inauguration Day Events
Exclusive early access (prior to opening to the general public) to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History on the National Mall.
Commemorate the Inauguration, Oath of Office and Inaugural Address of the President of the United States on the National Mall.
A special viewing party and celebratory luncheon with presidential trivia games and prizes, while Inaugural Scholars watch on large viewing screens as the President’s and Vice President’s motorcade travels from the United States Capitol Building down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House.
Conference Curriculum and Activities
Introduction to Political Parties and Election Issues
Inaugural Scholars examine different political parties in American politics today, discover which party they tend to agree with, discuss how political beliefs are formed and the issues that are most important to them. Through this exercise, scholars begin to develop their own political ideology.
Pathway to the Presidency: Charting a Course of Leadership for Success
Former presidents and their “roads to the white house” are examined, including what these leaders did in school and in their careers to set themselves on the path to the White House. Scholars identify roadblocks presidents have faced and leadership traits they have exhibited, and through this project scholars set goals for acquiring and fulfilling leadership roles themselves.
Hitting the Campaign Trail: Exploring Presidential Campaigns
The spotlight is on the presidential primaries as Inaugural Scholars learn the basics of presidential campaign advertising, which today fully utilizes social media, television, and the internet to push the campaign message. Inaugural Scholars also examine changes in the way campaigns are run and discuss the best and worst of the 2012 presidential campaign.
Running for President Simulation
Scholars decide whether they want to run for President or serve on a campaign, then each “declared candidate” assembles a campaign team to create slogans, logos, posters and advertisements for television (which they will perform for their fellow scholars).
Understanding the Vote: The Electoral College
The importance of the Electoral College, which was established by our nation’s founding fathers, is examined by Inaugural Scholars. Students gain an understanding of this constitutional compromise between the U.S. Congress and the popular vote.
The Art of Multi-Tasking: The Many Roles of the President
Inaugural Scholars study all of the critical roles the President plays, including Chief Executive, Commander in Chief, Party Leader, Chief Diplomat and Head of State.
Serving the President Simulation: The President’s Cabinet and Administration
Inaugural Scholars are introduced to the roles of the president’s Cabinet and examine the function and importance of the Secretaries of Defense, National Security and State, as well as other roles in the president’s administration, including Chief of Staff, First Lady and Vice President.
Following the introduction, scholars choose which role they want to assume, either “President” or one of his/her “advisors,” in the face of a simulated crisis scenario. Advisors provide information and opinions to the President, who must decide a course of action and present that decision to the “people” through a simulated press conference.
Town Hall Debates
Inaugural Scholars discuss topics of interest and issues faced in their schools and communities. Students choose two issues they are most interested in, and following the debates, create a letter to the President, their State Representative or Mayor of their city. Scholars are encouraged to take their letters home, share them with their parents and begin their involvement in our political process by letting their voices be heard.
Private Film Screening of The Third Monday in October and discussion with the cast members, including a welcome message from Academy Award ® Winning Director Vanessa Roth.
Voices of Change Panel
Award-winning filmmaker and writer Cynthia Lowen and student activist Brandon Greene, who have spoken out about bullying in schools and have used their considerable talents to educate and inspire the public, lead this very special panel about making positive change in our communities. Middle School student Brandon Greene was invited to the White House and personally recognized by President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for starting an organization in his school to prevent bullying. Cynthia Lowen is the co-filmmaker of Bully, the ground-breaking documentary exploring America’s bullying crisis.
Behind The Scenes at the White House
Inaugural Scholars discover what happens behind the scenes at the White House at this exciting interactive event headlined by two special panel guests, Cornell McClellan, personal trainer to the First Family and Michael Waldman, Director of Speechwriting for President Clinton who wrote or edited nearly 2,000 speeches, including four State of the Union speeches, two Inaugural Addresses and the 1996 Democratic convention acceptance speech. Inaugural Scholars participate in this event by using exciting technology enabling them to interact directly with panelists.
Gala Inaugural Celebration
Students celebrated this special day with a live, private, concert from special guest, Allstar Weekend. The Gala Inaugural Celebration and live concert was the culmination of the Conference and took place in the ballroom at the beautiful Gaylord National Resort! Attire for this exciting event was semi-formal (optional).