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Technical Q & A

Which software do I need to see and hear SenateKids?
SenateKids contains JavaScript and Shockwave elements that add interactivity and dynamics. The following software is recommended for getting the most out of this page. All of them are available free of charge.

  1. A JavaScript enabled web browser. This site is best viewed through Netscape Navigator 3.0 or Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0. More current versions will probably work but they have not been tested.
    Get NetscapeGetInternet Explorer

  2. Shockwave Plug-In. Shockwave allows interactive sounds and animations to be played over the Internet. The plug-in can be downloaded free of charge from Macromedia. Further instructions are available with the download.
    get shockwave

  3. Quicktime Plug-In. Apple's Quicktime plug-in allows you to view the virtual reality tour of the state capitol in Austin. It is a free download.
    Get Quicktime

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I don't know if I have this software or not. How can I tell?

You can have this page evaluate your system right now and tell you what you need. (This process cannot read any personal information from your computer or place any information on your hard drive.)
Test for Software

What kind of system hardware do I need?

Because SenateKids contains a lot of graphics and sound, it puts more demands on your processor and modem than many other web sites. The following chart indicates the recommended system for accessing SenateKids.

Windows: 486/66Mhz minimum processor, Pentium preferred. Soundblaster compatible sound card
Macintosh: 68020 minimum processor, PowerPC preferred, System 7.1 or higher
Display: 256 color resolution (VGA) or greater. 640x480 pixel resolution or greater
Modem: 28.8 Kbs or greater


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Lesson Plans

     WELCOME to the Senate Kids Webpage, a challenging, interactive adventure into the state Senate of Texas! Here, children of all ages can learn about the history, government processes, and legislative figures of Texas through fun and challenging games, colorful pictures, animated characters, and much more. The user can even take an interactive tour of the State Capitol!

     The page is divided into three sections: Senate Junior, Senate Kids, and Parents and Teachers. Senate Junior is a special section devoted to grades three and below or those not yet proficient in reading. Some activities may require assistance from a parent or teacher. The Senate Kids section is intended for those children more advanced in their reading and problem solving skills. The page targets grades four and up but, of course, people of all ages can have fun learning about the great state of Texas! The Parents and Teachers section can answer all your technical questions, give some lesson plan ideas, provides contacts, as well as additional resources.

     Following are descriptions of all lessons and activities found in each section.

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SENATE KIDS:
     The Capitol Tour - Take a trip to Austin with this interactive tour and explore the extensive grounds and magnificent corridors of the Texas State Capitol. Historical explanations, interesting facts, and beautiful photos allow you to experience the splendor of the Senate Chamber, the new Capitol Extension, and much more.

     Texas Trivia - Discover interesting facts from Texas's state flower to the favorite Texan dish in the Texas Official Facts section. Colorful photos, detailed descriptions, and challenging activities will make you an expert at Texas trivia.

  • activity - Bluebonnet Betty leads you through this entertaining multiple choice quiz that tests you on the Texas Official Facts section.

     Team Senators - Colorful trading cards tell you all about the players on the Senate team. The 31 members are profiled according to their personal and political backgrounds, districts, and careers. You can shuffle through all of them or search for the senator that represents you.

  • activity - Ever thought about being a senator? What kind of senator would you be? What issues would be important to you? Find out by playing "Senator Madlibs", the fun fill-in-the-blank game that tests your grammar skills while creating your very own senator biography.

     Glossary - All those big legislative terms can get a little confusing. To help you out, refer to the Senate Kids Glossary for definitions of those tough words. The glossary will also help you better understand legislative actions as well as the government process.

  • activity - The terms found in the glossary are hidden in the challenging Senate Kids Seek 'n Find game. This is one of Lone Star Bob's favorites!
  • activity - Take the Quiz-O-Matic challenge! This multiple choice quiz tests you on the glossary terms and legislative actions. Be careful with your answers. Some of them can be a bit tricky!

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SENATE JUNIOR:
     Texas Trivia - This informative section teaches children interesting Texas facts with colorful sketches and brief descriptions.

  • activity - Unscramble the "Texas Facts Puzzle" in this fun matching game.

     Storytime: "The Legend of Lone Star Bob" - This short story tells you all about how Lone Star Bob, Bluebonnet Betty, and another funny character began their great Texas adventure!

     Coloring Book - Show off your artistic talents in the Senate Kids coloring book. You can color cool pictures of the Capitol, the Senate seal, and some of your favorite characters. Crayons are even included!

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Parents and Teachers:
     Parents and Teachers serves as a reference and help section for the Senate Kids Webpage. It provides technical support by answering some of the most commonly asked questions. If your question is not answered under the Technical Q&A section, simply refer your question, comment, or problem to one of the helpful contacts listed. This section also provides some ideas for incorporating Senate Kids activities into the classroom as well as how to download each lesson or activity. Finally, links to additional online resources such as the Citizen's Handbook or the Quick Time Virtual Reality (QTVR) Capitol Tour are provided here.

DOWNLOADS
You can get all of the SenateKids documents here in one download. Choose your platform and file format by clicking on one of the folder icons.

Mac Downloads

Download WordPerfect 5.1 Docs for Macintosh
WordPerfect 5.1 Documents

Download Word 6.0.1 Docs for Macintosh
MS Word 6.0.1 Documents

Download RTF Docs for Macintosh
RTF Documents


Windows Downloads

Download WordPerfect 5.1 Docs for Windows
WordPerfect 5.1 Documents

Download Word 6.0 Docs for Windows
MS Word 6.0 Documents

Download RTF Docs for Windows
RTF Documents


Windows Self Extracting Downloads

Download WordPerfect 5.1 Docs for Windows
WordPerfect 5.1 Documents

Download Word 6.0 Docs for Windows
MS Word 6.0 Documents

Download RTF Docs for Windows
RTF Documents



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Additional Resources

The Texas Senate Home Page: The home page of the Texas Senate, its members, and the committees they serve on. It also has a "What's New" option that provides updates on Senate legislative action.

The QTVR Capitol Tour: A panoramic 360 degree tour of the state capitol building. This requires the Apple QTVR plug-in.

The Citizens Handbook (PDF): An easy-to-read guide on how the Texas Legislature works. This is a good resource for students.

The Texas House of Representatives Home Page: The official home page of the Texas House of Representatives.

Who Represent me? Use a zip code or street address to find your elected government officials.

Thomas: Federal legislative web page provided by the Library of Congress.

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Contact Us

Write:
SenateKids Webmaster
Texas Senate Media Services
P.O. Box 12068
Austin, TX 78711-2068

E-Mail:

If you expect a response, please be certain that you enter your e-mail address correctly in the space below.

We look forward to hearing your comments and answering your questions about this web site. Here are some tips to help you get the answers you are looking for.

  1. Read our "Frequently Asked Questions" (FAQ) page before submitting a question. You may find the answer already there.
  2. Direct legislative and political comments directly to your senator's e-mail or mailing address. This form goes ONLY to the web administrator.
  3. Enter your e-mail address correctly in the space below so we can respond to your question.
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