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Home > Clerc Center > KDES Students Visit the White House and the Supreme Court

KDES Students Visit the White House and the Supreme Court

Students behind White House
Students in White House

Students from KDES grades three, four, and five culminated their studies of the three branches of government with a field trip to the White House and the Supreme Court on December 4.

The students toured the White House in the morning. The White House Christmas decorations included a tree in the Blue Room with some of the ornaments that the KDES students had created! The White House had invited our students to recycle, renew, and re-imagine new decorations using silver orbs from previous administrations. The students decorated the orbs with themes from famous U.S. landmarks.

In the afternoon, the students visited the Supreme Court. They met the newest Supreme Court justice, Sonia Sotomayor, who took some time out of her lunch hour to chat with the students, respond to their questions, and stand in for a photo op.

Sotomayor shared how when she was growing up her ambition was to become a police officer or a detective. When she found out at age 9 that she had diabetes, she had to give up that dream. She decided to pursue her second dream of becoming a lawyer or maybe even a judge one day. She told the students that she felt lucky that President Obama picked her to serve on the Supreme Court. She said that she hoped to see them come back to the court in the future as lawyers or maybe even someday for one of them to take her place! After a photo op, Sotomayor smiled and said, "I have to hurry. I have eight other justices waiting for me, and as I am new on the job, I don't want to keep them waiting!"

The students enjoyed the entire day. They remarked on how the White House looked like a museum, with rooms kind of smaller than they had expected, and they were delighted to see the picture of "First Dog" Bo. They saw many portraits they recognized of past presidents, such as those of Lincoln, Bush, Reagan, and Clinton. They were impressed with the grand rooms at the Supreme Court with all the fancy gray marble and gold columns everywhere, and most of all with meeting the newest Supreme Court justice in person.