An Exercise in Leadership

The Situation Room Experience amplifies the difficulties and worldwide repercussions of managing a national crisis from the White House. What would you do in the Situation Room?


Schedule your Field Trip

View the Situation Room Experience calendar of availability and register your field trip to attend the simulation in California or Texas.

Required Materials for Field Trips

★ Mandatory Webinar

All high school educators registering to bring school groups to the Situation Room Experience in California are required to complete an online webinar on “how to prepare” at least one week in advance of your scheduled visit. College and university groups may schedule a specialized one-on-one meeting with a member of the Reagan team to discuss the best way to prepare for the simulation by emailing




★ Bus Scholarship Application


Each Presidential Library and Museum has established a fund to provide free transportation for qualifying school groups. Apply today for funding! You may download the application form for California or Texas below. Funds are limited and may not be awarded to every applicant.




★ Permission to Play and Photography Release Forms


The Situation Room staff must receive a photography release form for each person in the simulation, as a participant or observer, regardless of age. A signed permission to play form must be submitted for high school students. You may email or mail the permission to play and/or photography release forms to the Situation Room staff in advance of your trip or bring a hard copy of the forms with you on the day of the field trip.




★ Pre-Visit Lesson


This classroom-ready PowerPoint presentation is designed to engage high school students in the key concepts explored in the Situation Room Experience. In one or two class periods, your students will examine the roles of cabinet members and the Executive Office of the President. Additionally, your class will explore the work of the press and the complex and important interaction between the Executive Branch of government and the press. You may click additional education resources to access activities, lesson plans, and other digital materials from the National Archives for teaching with primary source documents.





★ Role Assignment Guide and Explanations for Students


Educators know their students. The “role assignment guide” was created to assist the high school educator in determining which roles to assign students. Each role is explained and student qualities are suggested; the guide provides space for the educator to list the paired names of each student with the role assigned. The “role assignment” guide is a critical “before you visit” document Situation Room staff need returned to support your visit. During the pre-visit presentation, your students are given the opportunity to research information about the role they are assigned in the simulation and present their findings to their peers. For example, if you assign a student a role as a government official, they will receive information about what that position entails in the real world as well as fictional details about their character for the simulation. The role explanations and worksheet for students allows all of the students to become familiar with each role and who plays it before the simulation and is vital for a successful experience. Instructors are encouraged to bring the students’ worksheets with them on the field trip.