Students are in the midst of their summer break from school, but that doesn't mean their minds have to take a break from learning. While free museums and trips to historically significant cities are good ways to teach kids about American history, a set of 19 free online video games can get students engaged in politics and civics without them having to leave home.

iCivics is a nonprofit organization committed to teaching civics through better engagement with students. The group was founded by former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. "I wanted to teach young people in America how they can be part of the governmental structure and help decide what problems to tackle and how to solve them," O'Connor says in a video on the organization's website. "We need to teach young people that they're going to grow up and be in charge."

iCivics isn't just for summer vacation. It also reaches into the classroom by providing teachers with lesson plans that accompany the games. The non-profit claims to reach 7 million students and 70,000 teachers every year.

Below are reviews of three iCivics games. Each one is particularly relevant to recent political debates, covering presidential elections, the Supreme Court and the federal budget, respectively. While the games aren't perfect, they're more educational than most video games or daytime television students may find on summer break.

Win the White House

This game turns the player into a presidential candidate. Just like in real campaigns, students must raise scarce resources in the right states and spend their money wisely. It's not enough to buy an ad or make an appearance in Florida; the candidate must be sure to choose the right policy position and the best messaging. Attacking the opposing candidate for holding a position voters support can swing momentum to the other side.

But the game wastes an opportunity to show students where states fall politically. Although the game's two candidates hold positions that accurately correspond to their respective parties, that didn't carry over into accurate state support. For example, before any campaigning was done in California, the state showed almost 60 percent support for the Republican nominee. In Texas, over 60 percent supported the Democratic nominee. That doesn't reflect reality.

The game also glossed over the primary process. Rather than put candidates through a few debates in early primary states, there's simply one primary debate where all the candidate has to do is pick the right messaging on no more than five party issues. In real life, the primary process is confusing and students would be helped by a fun game that explains it to them.

Although students may not realize it, the repetitive talking points given in speeches and media appearances is another accurate representation of stump speeches in real-life campaigns.

Court Quest

Courts can be confusing. Depending on what a given case is about, a lawsuit may start in one of the many layers of courts, which often differ by state.

In Court Quest, the player guides citizens to which state or federal court should hear their case. For example, a person appears in New Hampshire and asks where she can request a hearing for a name change. The player can click around and see examples of cases at Family Division, Probate and District Courts, among others, and should be able to correctly choose Probate Court. Another case shows a person who accuses a used car seller of breaking federal law and lying about how many miles were on the car.

There are also constitutional challenges to federal law that end up in the Supreme Court, similar to the Supreme Court case that challenged Obamacare's individual mandate. The game doesn't go through the intricacies of who would bring a case against a potentially unconstitutional federal law or how a case in multiple circuits might be consolidated. Still, all the layers of the judiciary are confusing and helping students learn the path of a case is beneficial.

People's Pie

The federal government collects a lot of tax revenue every year, but there's only so much to go around to various departments and programs. People's Pie teaches students how to set the federal budget, while also taking into account the approval of voters.

The player starts by setting levels of corporate, payroll and individual taxes, as well as the retirement age for Social Security and Medicare. That determines how much revenue the budget will have and how much of the budget will be dedicated to entitlements. After that, the player goes through 10 budget categories and gets three options on items to keep or cut from the budget. Want to fund free college? Fine, but it's going to cost taxpayers $162 billion a year.

In the game, funding cheap but popular budget items while cutting expensive and popular items can still raise citizen approval. For example, I funded a $0.2 billion program that teaches Social Security recipients how to avoid scams, cut funding for ice cream socials for the unemployed and cut $117 billion from the Disability Insurance program. Citizens disapproved of the disability cuts, but their approval of the other decisions raised overall citizen satisfaction with my budget.

While playing a test run-through, I was able to balance the federal budget, keep all types of taxation low and keep the public happy. Take that, Congress.