About Purple State

PurpleState is a virtual internship simulation that engages students in state-level policy issues through developing media campaigns for a fictitious political communications firm. Through PurpleState, students explore the role of media in politics, develop skills in argumentation, and increase confidence to engage in civic action. The tasks for the simulation take approximately 10 hours of class and out-of-class work time. The full curriculum can be downloaded using the link below. All other simulation resources are available in the Teacher Resources menu in the PurpleState App once you register. Registration is free.

PurpleState Curriculum

PurpleState uses an “engagement first” design where students are immediately immersed in problem solving that requires them to access and utilize simulation resources. This model is designed as a collaborative activity with the teacher playing the role of the account manager in our fictitious political communications firm. Tasks are introduced and guided through a series of “emails” from their PurpleState Account Executive.

Sample Task Email

The primary project that teams of students work on is a proposal for a media campaign. Media campaigns are designed around one of three state-level policy issues from which teachers and/or students can choose (gun control, energy policy, mandatory minimums). Student campaigns are designed for a special interest group client who has outlined specific target goals. The student collaborative teams follow our PurpleState Campaign Design Process that models the workflow of actual political communications firms. Each policy issue has four possible special interest group clients available that represent a range of policy views.

Example Special Interest Group Contracts

PurpleState is designed to allow teachers to make the simulation fit their classes and context while also aligning with state and national academic standards and frameworks. We encourage teachers implementing the simulation to be creative in their role as account manager. We also encourage teachers to help students connect what they learn in the simulation with what they are seeing locally in terms of political advertising and information sources.

Standards and Alignments Document