The end of School House Rock?

Of course not, but we think resources like Legislative Explorer shed new light on an obscure process that has benefits for students, the public, and even researchers.

Legislative Explorer lets users explore the lawmaking process. One of the things that we hope will emerge from these explorations is an appreciation of the Congress as an institution – how it is organized, its responsibilities, and the issues it considers.

Data-driven discovery tools were specifically developed to help natural science researchers explore and make sense of complex data. Tools like Legislative Explorer show that it is  possible to leverage the same benefits to promote a richer, subtler form of civics education.

LegEx is a collaboration between the Center for American Politics and Public Policy at the University of Washington (John Wilkerson and Nicholas Stramp) and Schema (Christian Marc Schmidt and Sergei Larionov), a creative design and technology studio in Seattle. Both Wilkerson and Stramp have backgrounds in K-12 education. Wilkerson developed LegSim, an interactive legislative simulation for high school and college students. Stramp taught middle school math and science before joining the UW. Wilkerson provided the initial vision for the project; Stramp wrangled the extensive underlying data. Schmidt and Larionov converted the vision and data into a polished project using the power of HTML5 and javascript.

For more information, contact:

John Wilkerson (

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