News

Dr. Carol O'Donnell Publishes Article on Empowering Women in STEM

May 30, 2018

Dr. Carol O'Donnell, Director of the Smithsonian Science Education Center, has published the article, "Empowering Women in STEM through the WiSTEM2D Initiative: A Public-Private Partnership." Through its "Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, Manufacturing, and Design (WiSTEM2D) Initiative, Johnson & Johnson, together with three NGOs–Junior Achievement Worldwide, FHI360, and the Smithsonian Science Education Center–are working to spark girls' interest in STEM at a young age and help girls of all ages across the globe to stay on the STEM track. (Note: This article was originally published in the print edition of the 2018 G7 Summit magazine, distributed at the 44th G7 Summit held 8–9 June 2018 in Charlevoix, Canada.)

Dr. Carol O'Donnell Publishes Article in "G7 Summit Executive Talk Series Global Briefing Report" 2018

May 28, 2018

The 44th G7 Summit will be held on June 8-9 in Charlevoix, Canada. The summit will gather leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, along with the presidents of the European Council and the European Commission, to discuss global policy issues of high relevance on diplomatic agendas. Themes include investing in growth that works for everyone; preparing for jobs of the future; advancing gender equality and women's empowerment; working together on climate change, oceans and clean energy; and building a more peaceful and secure world. O'Donnell's article (pg 108) focuses on the role that the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) will play in empowering youth to engage in local and global actions to address the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) through its new freely disseminated Smithsonian Science for Global Goals curriculum. You can download a full copy of the G7 Global Briefing Report at:  https://issuu.com/g20magazine/docs/g7_2018_full_set_digital__2_

Image: G7 Summit

SSEC Advisor Dr. Greg Kelly Receives Award

May 14, 2018

Dr. Greg Kelly is a Distinguished Professor and the Senior Associate Dean for Research, Outreach and Technology in the College of Education at Pennsylvania State University and a member of the SSEC National Advisory Board and a faculty member in science education. Dr. Kelly is the recipient of the 2018 University Faculty Way Paver Award for his work with diversity and inclusion initiatives at Penn State and throughout the community. He has also received the 2018 Dr. John J. Gumperz Memorial Award for Distinguished Lifetime Scholarship which recognizes and honors the lifelong distinguished scholarship of a senior scholar whose program of research in language and social processes and professional service have made significant contributions to the field. We would like to extend our congratulations to Dr. Kelly for his outstanding service to science education.

SSEC LASER Video Highlighted in the STEMforAll NSF Showcase

May 14, 2018

The SSEC was selected to host a video in the STEMforAll NSF Showcase, which describes the results from SSEC's LASER i3 Validation study. LASER was developed under an NSF grant and studied using US Department of Education funds.

Results from LASER i3 validation study from videohall.com on Vimeo.

Dr. Carol O'Donnell Featured in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article, "WorkZone: Pipeline for young women to pursue STEM careers is ‘leaky’"

April 30, 2018 

In an article for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Dr. Carol O'Donnell discussed her time growing up in Pittsburgh as a young girl with an interest in STEM. According to Dr. O'Donnell, “At the time, the opportunities for young girls to think about STEM as a career ... we were just on the verge of that. I remember my parents wanting me to become an engineer because I was already messing around and building things, using my local environment as my laboratory.” With the support of her parents, Dr. O'Donnell took two buses to school every morning to take trigonometry classes. The article goes on to discuss how mentoring women to pursue STEM careers is vital. “We need to help students understand what science can do,” she said. It’s not enough to teach women science and technology if there is no structure to hold them in place.

In Search of the Next Great Female Thinkers

April 24, 2018

Johnson & Johnson has joined up with nonprofit organizations like FHI 360, the Smithsonian Science Education Center and Junior Achievement to find ways to make science programs in schools both educational and fun through resources like games, videos and more creative lesson plans—all with the ultimate hope of reaching 1 million young girls by 2020. At the same time, the company has inked 11 partnerships with universities around the world—from MIT in Cambridge to the University of Limerick in Ireland—to help boost the percentage of women declaring STEM2D majors through scholarships, mentoring and research opportunities. And the gambit's beginning to pay off: In 2017 alone, the WiSTEM2D program impacted over 10,000 girls between the ages of 5 and 18 through its Youth Pillar, as well as provided $1 million in funding to 177 undergraduate students through its University Pillar.

STEMvisions Blog Post Cited in STEMGobble

April 23, 2018

An article written by Ashley Deese, Manager of Digital Media at the Smithsonian Science Education Center, was cited by STEMgobble, a blog digest of education news which discussed the difference between Gamification and Game-based Learning. According to Deese's blog post, “Using gamification to aid in cognitive development will allow an increase in the activity of the regions of the brain to allow for adequate development,” and, “exercising with an interactive game is just as effective as normal exercise.” So, gamification and game-based learning have the potential to enhance cognitive and physical development. To read the article, go here: https://www.stemgobble.com/single-post/2018/04/11/Gamification-vs-Game-Based-Learning

Dr. Carol O'Donnell Helps to Honor Women's History Month by Participating as Panelist in Wilson Center's "Opening Doors in Glass Walls for Women in STEM"

April 16, 2018

For over thirty years, women have remained noticeably underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. From hiring practices to workplace culture, multiple factors create barriers that prevent women from achieving fulfilling and successful careers. The capacity of women in STEM to excel in their chosen careers impacts the pipeline for emerging women leaders in these fields, and if these barriers persist, the number of women in the pipeline will not be able to grow. In order to open up pathways to leadership for more women in STEM, we must ask the question: What are those barriers? And more importantly, what can we do about them? In honor of Women’s History Month, Dr. Carol O'Donnell and other women leaders in STEM served as panelists in the Wilson Center’s Science and Technology Innovation Program, Women in Public Service Project and Serious Game Initiative for a conversation on the barriers and opportunities for women in STEM, and the actions that can be taken to achieve true gender parity in these fields.

Smithsonian Shares Hands-On Learning with Local Families at the 2018 K-12 STEM Symposium

April 16, 2018

Dr. Carol O'Donnell of the Smithsonian Science Education Center worked with 203 girls and boys at the fifth annual K-12 Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Symposium on April 14, 2018 held at the Nysmith School in Herndon, Virginia. An estimated 4,000 students, parents, educators, and businesses and 50 exhibitors attended the event. Young students who worked with the Smithsonian were given an engineering design challenge to design, build, test, and redesign a vehicle to move at least one meter and then demonstrate their understanding of the science behind its motion. Students applied engineering principles as they moved the car using either gravitational potential energy, rubber band energy, wind energy, or hydro-electric power. There were 203 students who won the design challenge and were rewarded with a WiSTEM2D poster produced by Johnson & Johnson and the Smithsonian Science Education Center. The poster illustrates a variety of STEM2D careers students can enter and the degrees required for each.

Dr. Carol O'Donnell of the Smithsonian Science Education Center worked with 203 girls and boys at the fifth annual K-12 Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Symposium on April 14, 2018 held at the Nysmith School in Herndon, Virginia.

Dr. Brian Mandell Featured Presenter at Morristown-Beard School 2018 Math & Science Symposium

April 16, 2018 

Dr. Brian Mandell, Division Director for Curriculum & Communications at the Smithsonian Science Education Center, was a featured presenter at the 2018 Math & Science Symposium held at the Morristown-Beard School and co-hosted by The New Jersey Association of Independent Schools (NJAIS) and the Far Hills Country Day School. 

The event was attended by more than 200 independent school teachers from across New Jersey and featured a keynote address by Dr Ellen Stofan, former Chief Scientist for NASA. Dr. Stofan, who was recently named the Head of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., spoke about "Exploring Other Worlds to Understand Our Own." In her talk, she discussed the importance of studying the planets Venus and Mars as well as the moon Titan (the largest moon of Saturn) because of their geological similarities with the Earth.

Dr. Mandell was a featured presenter at the 2018 Math & Science Symposium held at the Morristown-Beard School and co-hosted by The New Jersey Association of Independent Schools (NJAIS) and the Far Hills Country Day School. Dr. Brian Mandell 

Dr Ellen Stofan, former Chief Scientist for NASA, was recently named the Head of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.Dr Ellen Stofan

Dr. Carol O'Donnell Interviewed by the University of Pittsburgh School of Education

April 16, 2018

The University of Pittsburgh School of Education recently sat down with Dr. Carol O'Donnell, Director of the Smithsonian Science Education Center, to talk to her about her experience growing up in inner city Pittsburgh, attending the University of Pittsburgh School of Education as a young adult, and pursuing a career as a woman in STEM. To read the transcript of the interview, go to: https://www.education.pitt.edu/newsletter/PittEd/article.asp...

SSEC's Dr. Katya Vines Publishes New Article with Smithsonian Magazines' Voices Blog

April 16, 2018 

On April 10, 2018, the Smithsonian Magazine's Voices Blog published an article by Dr. Katya Vines, a Senior Curriculum Developer with the Smithsonian Science Education Center. Dr. Vines' article focuses on

Scotland’s Jurassic Island and what scientists can learn from dinosaur footprint tracks, which can tell scientists how a dinosaur moved and lived, the size of the dinosaur, whether it is a herbivore or carnivore, what kind of species it is likely to be, and what kind of environment it lived in. Who knew that a footprint could reveal so much! To learn more, go to: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/blogs/smithsonian-science-edu...

Smithsonian Science Education Center Nominated For Best Public Service and Activism Game In the 22nd Annual Webby Awards

April 10, 2018

Users Can Vote Online to Help the Smithsonian Science Education Center Win Internet’s Top Honor: https://vote.webbyawards.com/PublicVoting#/2018/games/genera...

The Smithsonian Science Education Center announced that it has been nominated for Best Public Service and Activism game in the 22nd Annual Webby Awards for “Aquation: The Freshwater Access Game.” Hailed as the “Internet’s highest honor” by The New York Times, The Webby Awards, presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS), is the leading international awards organization honoring excellence on the Internet. IADAS, which nominates and selects The Webby Award Winners, is comprised of Internet industry experts, including Jimmy Kimmel, Lyft CEO Logan Green, Girls Who Code Founder Reshma Saujani, Gimlet Media CEO Alex Blumberg, Instagram’s Eva Chen, social entrepreneur Van Jones, Internet inventor Vint Cerf, Playmatics CEO Margaret Wallace, Reddit’s Alexis Ohanian, and Black Lives Matter’s Opal Tometi.

Image of Aquation: The Freshwater Access Game

Psychological Foundations Student from the University of Minnesota Receives NSF GRFP Fellowship to Study at the SSEC Under the Guidance of Dr. Brian Mandell

April 9, 2018

Christina Zdawczyk, Ph.D. student in the psychological foundations of education program in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Minnesota, is the recipient of a prestigious research fellowship through the National Science Foundation Fellowship Program (NSF-GRFP). This grant supports graduate students studying STEM subjects and education. The fellowship covers educational and living expenses for three years, in order to allow graduate fellows to fully engage in their research interests and become experts in their fields. Zdawczyk will conduct research at the Smithsonian Science Education Center in Washington, D.C. under the mentorship of Dr. Brian Mandell, SSEC's Division Director of Curriculum. Zdawczyk's project is titled: “Student Misconceptions in the Science Classroom: Examining Teacher Knowledge and Self-Efficacy.” 

Congratulations to Christina on her continued success and contributions to the field of educational psychology!

Dr. Carol O'Donnell Presents at US News and STEM Solutions Conference on K-12 Panel: "Pathway to Success: Helping K-12 Students Get College and Career Ready"

April 9, 2018

While U.S. students are graduating high school at the highest rate ever, questions remain about how well prepared new diploma-holders are for what comes next. For instance, researchers estimate that  some 6 million jobs remain unfilled, many of which require individuals with STEM skills that employers say they just can’t find enough of in the talent pool. In response, K-12 administrators, advocates, and policymakers are working to shore up education programs in K-12 to give students the skills they need to compete in the workforce or the college classroom. The change is happening by improving teacher training, integrating more experiential and hands-on learning into the classroom, and teaming up K-12 schools with corporate and higher education partners to advance women in STEM. Several education leaders presented on this standing-room only panel, including Dr. Carol O'Donnell, Director of the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC), who discussed SSEC's role in the Johnson & Johnson Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Manufacturing, and Design (WiSTEM2D) initiative.

Dr. Carol O'Donnell Presents at US News and STEM Solutions Conference on K-12 Panel

SSEC's Logan Schmidt Publishes Article with Smithsonian Magazine's Voices Blog

April 2, 2018

On April 2, 2018, the Smithsonian Magazine's Voices Blog published an article by Logan Schmidt, a curriculum developer with the Smithsonian Science Education Center. Logan's article focuses on how Dr. Jane Goodall turned frustration into fame by conquering challenges in the field. In her article, Logan indicates that, "like every scientist before her and every scientist who will follow, Goodall encountered failure in the pursuit of science." Logan describes how all scientists, including Goodall, fail. Goodall, who is one of the most accomplished animal behavior scientists in the world, discovered that chimpanzees use tools, eat meat, and have complex social relationships. But those discoveries didn’t come without persistence and some measure of failure. To read more, go to: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/blogs/smithsonian-science-edu...

Tully Central Schools Participate in Lesson Study Using Smithsonian Curriculum

March 26, 2018

In January 2018, elementary school teachers from Tully Central Schools in Tully, NY completed the second year of the 100K in 10 Grant, which is offered through a partnership with OCM-BOCES and The Smithsonian Science Education Center. The team of teachers from Tully Elementary School involved with this grant are Rachel Kolod, Abigail Lerch, Michele McNerney, Lisa Saile and Melissa Pickard. Through this grant, teachers were provided training related to the science units developed by the Smithsonian Science Education Center, as well as professional development in how to conduct a formal "Lesson Study." Tully teachers then worked with teachers from around the area to choose a specific element of a Smithsonian Science Lesson, which they then researched and evaluated.  To read their newsletter, go to: http://www.tullyschools.org/tfiles/folder749/KI%20March%202018.pdf

Dr. Douglas M. Lapp Named Founding Director Emeritus of Smithsonian Science Education Center

March 22, 2018 

Special Honor To Highlight a Distinguished Career

Image of Dr. Douglas M. Lapp with other Smithsonian staff. (Left to right) Scott Robinson, Anne B. Keiser, Dr. Douglass Lapp, Dr. Carol O'Donnell, and Eric Nastasi

On March 19, Dr. Carol O’Donnell, director of the Smithsonian Science Education Center, presented Douglas M. Lapp with a letter from the Secretary of the Smithsonian designating Lapp as founding director, emeritus, Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) in recognition of his length of service and outstanding contributions during his tenure at the Smithsonian. The presentation took place at The Hamilton in the company of his wife, Anne B. Keiser of the Smithsonian Women’s Committee; Eric C. Nastasi, division director for advancement & partnerships, SSEC; and Scott Robinson, advancement officer, Smithsonian’s  Office of Advancement.

SSEC's Dr. Sarah Glassman Publishes Article with Smithsonian Magazine's Voices Blog on World Water Day

March 22, 2018

On World Water Day–March 22–the Smithsonian Magazine published an article by Dr. Sarah Glassman, a curriculum developer with the Smithsonian Science Education Center. Dr. Glassman's article focuses on the importance of stopping and thinking about where we get the water that we need. She notes, "Only 2.5% of the water on Earth is freshwater compared to salt water. And most of that freshwater is not available because it is stored in glaciers." She also shares with Smithsonian Magazine readers that the second biggest source of freshwater is groundwater, which is unequally distributed across Earth, and the smallest percent of freshwater is found as surface water in lakes, streams, and wetlands. To learn more, go to: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/blogs/smithsonian-science-education-center/2018/03/19/world-water-day-dont-take-your-water-granted/

Opening Doors for Glass Walls for Women in STEM

March 19, 2018

For over thirty years, women have remained noticeably underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. Women make up more than half of college-educated workers but only 25% of college-educated STEM workers – in some fields, such as computer science, women make up only 18.1% of earned bachelor’s degrees. Missing half of the talent pool impacts our potential competitiveness and innovation in a technology-driven economy. But the real problems may begin once women enter a STEM career. Dr. Carol O'Donnell, the Director of the Smithsonian Science Education Center, is one of three women leaders in STEM to join a panel organized by the Wilson Center’s Science and Technology Innovation Program, Women in Public Service Project and Serious Games Initiative, for a conversation on the barriers and opportunities for women in STEM, and the actions that can be taken to achieve true gender parity in these fields. 

Science for All Highlights the Smithsonian Science Education Center's STEM Diversity Playbook

March 17, 2018

Kirk Robbins, author of the blog "Science for All: Curating Transformative Science Education Resources," highlighted the playbook, "Fostering Change: Ideas and Best Practices for Diversity in STEM Teaching in K-12 Classrooms," which is the result of a collaboration between the Smithsonian Science Education Center, Shell Oil Company, and FSG. This playbook provides support in trying to diversify the STEM teaching workforce. The goal of "Science for All" is to share transformational science education resources, defined as any  book, article, web site, video clip, report, or tool that will be highly likely to change or advance the public's thinking about effective science instruction and can be used to support effective science teaching and learning for ALL students.

$790,000 Walton Family Foundation Grant will Enable YES Prep Public Schools to Diversify its Teaching Workforce

March 5, 2018

The Walton Family Foundation announced plans to invest $790,000 to grow and diversify the teaching profession in Houston, Texas, by supporting the expansion of Teaching Excellence, an innovative teacher training program run by YES Prep Public Schools–one of 21 teams who attended the Smithsonian's 2018 Summit designed to help teams diversify the STEM teaching workforce. With foundation support, Teaching Excellence will train and support at least 620 educators, 70 percent of whom will identify as people of color, between 2018 and 2020. Teaching Excellence educators will eventually serve Houston students across 15 charter organizations and school districts.

Smithsonian Teams Up with Leading School Science Supplier to Launch New Engineering Curriculum Modules

February 28, 2018

Carolina Biological Supply Company, the leading school science supplier, and the Smithsonian Science Education Center recently launched the new Smithsonian Science for the Classroom Engineering modules for students in grades 1 to 5. With school demand for new STEM products that address Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and are easy to implement, the Smithsonian Science Education Center responded with a new generation of high-quality curriculum materials—Smithsonian Science for the Classroom. Developed to meet the NGSS, Smithsonian Science for the Classroom is an innovative program for school districts that includes print and digital components, as well as hands-on materials. The program’s high-interest engineering content teaches science and provides meaningful literacy and math experiences. Blending content, practices, and crosscutting concepts, the hands-on engineering modules are designed to engage students and meet Performance Expectations.

Smithsonian Science Education Center Receives Grant from Smithsonian Women’s Committee for S4–the Smithsonian Science Summer School Program

February 22, 2018

The Smithsonian Science Education Center received a grant from the Smithsonian Women’s Committee to support the Center’s first ever Smithsonian Science Summer School. Also called S4, the initiative is a science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) education program that connects the Smithsonian Science Education Center’s K-8 primary and middle school curriculum with the history, art, culture and science of the Smithsonian Institution for the benefit of Horizons Greater Washington summer school students.

Through six weeks of instruction on the Smithsonian curricula, and a series of field trips, the S4program will bring the Smithsonian to life for 135 underserved students from Title I schools in grades 1 through 8 in order to reduce the summer skills gap that occurs for underserved youth. For this effort the Center will collaborate with Horizons Greater Washington, a non-profit organization that offers a summer enrichment program to economically disadvantaged students in Washington, D.C. The S4Program will also help the Smithsonian meet its strategic goal of reaching every student in the DC area, and demonstrating “One Smithsonian” by relating its curriculum to the collections and exhibits of a variety of Smithsonian museums.

Horizons Greater Washington is extremely excited to work with the Smithsonian Institution to bring authentic STEM experiences to our students, stated Renée Stikes, Executive Director, Horizons Greater Washington. The S4 program will go a long way to help close the summer skills and knowledge gap for these kids.

Both the Smithsonian Science Education Center and Horizons Greater Washington look forward to a mutually beneficial collaboration, and thank the Smithsonian Women’s Committee for the opportunity to offer this exciting program to Washington, DC students.

SSEC, Syracuse University, and OCM BOCES Provide Tully Elementary Teachers with Lesson Study

February 9, 2018

In January, a team of Tully Elementary School (TES) teachers completed Year Two of the 100K in 10 Grant, awarded to the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) in partnership with New York State OCM Board of Cooperative Educational Services (OCM BOCES). Of the seventy (70) teachers chosen, the team from TES included Rachel Kolod, Abigail Lerch, Michele McNerney, Lisa Saile and Melissa Pickard. Teachers were provided early training in the first of four new SSEC Science Units as well as Professional Development in Lesson Study. Teachers worked for several months to choose, research, evaluate and propose a lesson focus. The TES team focused on Evidence Based Claims and Accountable Talk within a 1st Grade Smithsonian Science lesson. First graders came to the Maker Lab to solve the question “What is Needed to Make Sound?” 

Read more at http://www.tullyschools.org/teacherpage.cfm?teacher=965

Smithsonian Science Education Center and Howard University Join Forces To Increase Diversity in STEM Teaching

To tackle the issue of underrepresentation in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) teaching and leadership, the Smithsonian Science Education Center will host a STEM teacher leadership summit Feb. 23–25 at Howard University funded by Shell Oil Company in collaboration with the Howard University School of Education and powered by Teach to Lead.

Smithsonian Science Education Center Curriculum Highlighted by Simba's "K-12 Science Market and STEM Outlook Report 2018"

February 5, 2018

As schools adopt the Next Generation Science Standards and broaden science instruction in the classroom to STEM, there is growing educator interest in acquiring new resources to meet changing needs. Seeing the changes in K-12 science instruction, Simba Information undertook a survey of educators about the science resources they are using in the 2017-2018 school year. Findings from that survey and Simba’s ongoing research into the educational materials market are the basis for a new report, K-12 Science Market and STEM Outlook Report 2018Survey-based data is included on the use of science programs and hands-on science kits, including criteria for the selection of a core resource, and whether digital tools and content are supplanting print materials. Asked about the most important attributes of core science programs, surveyed educators ranked the following features the highest: alignment with standards, include a mix of text, multimedia and hands-on resources, and include projects and lab experiments. The Smithsonian Science Education Center's STEM curriculum was among those highlighted in the report.

SSEC Director Dr. Carol O'Donnell Presents on STEM Education at Yale Law School's "Women in Leadership" Conference

February 5, 2018

More than 600 female undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty and community members gathered at Yale University Law School on Wall Street Saturday February 3, 2018 for an all-day conference organized by the Yale Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI). The 10th Annual Yale Women in Leadership Conference brought females together to engage in a vital conversation regarding how women can empower themselves and engage with Women Leaders from across the country in Education, Technology, Politics, Business, Performing Arts, and others, sharing experiences, counsel, and words of empowerment. SSEC Director Dr. Carol O'Donnell served as one of the presenters.

Dr. Carol O'Donnell at the Yale Law School's "Women in Leadership Conference"

GeekWire Highlights Smithsonian Collaboration with Carnegie Learning in Pittsburgh to Create Digital STEM Products

January 30, 2018

In this month's article, GeekWire discusses the importance of collaboration in the world of education technology. As one example, the article highlights the Smithsonian Institution, through its Smithsonian Science Education Center, which announced a “strategic alliance” with Carnegie Learning, an edtech company founded in Pittsburgh in 1998. Carnegie’s focus on math and adaptive technology would be combined with the Smithsonian Science Education Center’s focus on science and engineering to create STEM products for K-12 students and teachers.

Thailand Researchers Use Hands-on Activities from STCMS to Study the Impact of a Science Camp Model on Students' Performance on National Test

January 2018

This research article summarizes the collaboration between the faculty of education at Chiang Mai University in Thailand and an educational service area to develop the Science Camp Model. The activities designed for the camp were based on the Tinkering and Maker Movement and draw from 5 inquiry-based science units designed to enhance students' conceptualization of electricity, including the Smithsonian Science Education Center's STC curriculum for middle school students. The goal of the study was to determine if science camp could improve students' understanding of electricity, in order to meet the standard evaluation of Thailand's Ordinary National Educational Test (O-NET).

NSTA EdNews: New Science Standards A Boon For The Littlest Learners

January 26, 2018

NSTA's Education News highlights the news of Smithsonian's new alliance with Carnegie Learning to build new STEM products.

SSEC Director Dr. Carol O'Donnell Speaks at DECA Thought Leadership Forum on 21st Century Skills

January 25, 2018

DECA’s National Advisory Board, and the National Research Center for College and University Admissions (NRCCUA) hosted an impactful symposium at the AT&T Forum that explored the topic of "21st Century Mindsets vs. 21st Century Skills: How Do We Bridge the Gap?" The Thought Leadership Forum featured notable leaders in the education community, policy makers, and corporate leaders who gathered to confer on the many exciting, new and urgently necessary opportunities that exist for collaboration between the business, education and public policy sectors. The NRCCUA presented their most recent findings on the topic from a special report that was released at the event. Findings included six mindsets that are pervasive among college-bound high school students. SSEC Director, Dr. Carol O'Donnell, spoke on the importance of developing STEM knowledge, skills and attitudes in K-12 students.

Image of Dr. Carol O'Donnell and others at DECA thought leadership forum

Wisconsin's Einstein Project Participates in Smithsonian's STEM Diversity Summit

January 25, 2018

The Einstein Project has teamed up with administrators and educators from Green Bay Area Public Schools and the School District of South Milwaukee to tackle the issue of under-representation in STEM education.  Their team was selected by the Smithsonian Science Education Center to attend a Teacher Leadership Summit at Howard University in Washington, DC, which was held February 23-25, 2018.  The event sponsored by the Shell Oil Company is helping teams create plans for attracting, retaining, and developing a diverse STEM teaching workforce in their districts. For a video highlighting research from Dr. Michael Ford of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, go to: http://www.wisn.com/article/wisconsin-schools-lack-minority-teachers/143854…

Smithsonian Forms Strategic Alliance With Carnegie Learning to Build New STEM K-12 Products

January 19, 2018

Carnegie Learning, Inc., a research-proven leader of mathematics technology, curriculum and services, has announced a strategic alliance with the Smithsonian Institution. The Smithsonian has long been a leading developer of research-based science and engineering curriculum through its Smithsonian Science Education Center, which was established in 1985 to help transform the teaching and learning of science in the United States and throughout the world. The alliance will bring together two prestigious entities–the Smithsonian Institution and Carnegie Learning, which traces its roots back to Carnegie Mellon University–as they pursue their aligned missions to prepare students for success in the future economy–an economy that will depend heavily on students' knowledge and skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). 

Carol O'Donnell Serves as Outside Adviser to Recently Released Pew Research Center Study on Women & Men in the STEM Workforce

January 9, 2018

Dr. Carol O'Donnell, Director of the Smithsonian Science Education Center, served as an Outside Adviser for a Pew Research Center report that was released on Jan. 9, 2018, which used a national representative survey to understand the issues women face in the STEM workforce.  One of the key findings of the report is that while there has been an increased number of women earning degrees and working in the STEM industry, the new study found that women in STEM experience more discrimination at work than women in non-STEM fields.

To read the report go to: http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2018/01/09/stem-acknowledgmen...

 

Smithsonian Science Education Center Highlighted in 100kin10's 2017 Trends Report: "10 Big Insights on Teaching, Learning, and STEM Education"

January 9, 2018

This "Trends Report" from the 100kin10 organization--of which the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) is a member--is the culmination of weeks of research, drawn from dozens of events and workshops, hundreds of conversations with experts and influencers, thousands of teacher surveys, and commissioned reviews exploring everything from social media trends to new teaching methods. The SSEC is highlighted in 100kin10's top insights from 2017 under the importance of promoting "Active STEM" learning.

SSEC Director Carol O'Donnell Interviewed by Big Beacon Radio on VoiceAmerica

December 18, 2017

In this episode, host Dave Goldberg is joined by special guest Carol O'Donnell, Director of the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC), a unit of the Smithsonian Institution that is dedicated to transforming the learning and teaching of science throughout the nation and world. Listen to Dave's podcast as he and Carol further explore the work of the Smithsonian Science Education Center, delve into the impact the SSEC has had on students, and discuss how higher education can implement the same principles for student success in STEM.

Article in Orange County Register Shows Local Use of LASER Model

December 18, 2017

In this article from the Orange County Register, Eddie Tabata, Executive Director of Science@OC, discusses how, for 15 years, the Santa-Ana based nonprofit, Science@OC, has been making an impact on science education in Orange County public schools, including those in Santa Ana where many students come from lower income households. Since Science@OC’s founding, more than 40,000 students — mostly 6-8th graders — have taken science classes using specially developed hands-on kits to get kids excited about science and discovery. Science@OC utilizes the nationally-recognized leadership development model called LASER from the Smithsonian Science Education Center. The program includes professional development, curriculum and materials support in the classroom, program evaluation and community partnerships.

CNN's Fareed Zakaria Cites Smithsonian Science Education Center in His Sunday Morning Show "GPS"

December 17, 2017

During his December 17, 2017 CNN GPS "What in the World" segment [go to: 10:26:54], Fareed Zakaria cited the Smithsonian Science Education Center when he discussed women in the workforce as a matter of economic productivity. According to Zakaria, a new report out by Standard & Poor's indicates that women who leave the workforce or never enter it have cost the United States greatly. S&P says that the U.S. economy would be $1.6 trillion bigger today if women in America entered and stayed in the workforce at the same rate women in Norway have. Zakaria notes, "Only 14 percent of women age 25 to 64 in the U.S. have studied a STEM field to begin with, a recent OECD report shows." The data Zakaria attributed to the Smithsonian Science Education Center comes from a July 2011 report from the US Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, which projected that STEM jobs would grow by 17 percent from 2008-2018 compared to 9.8 percent growth for non-STEM occupations.

SSEC Director Shares Results of SSEC's LASER Study at Paris Conference Organized by La Main a La Pate

December 7, 2017

The diffusion of inquiry-based science teaching practices begs the question of how to properly evaluate this approach. To address this question, Dr. Carol O'Donnell, Director of the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC), presented via video technology the results of the 5-year clustered randomized control trial (RCT) study of the SSEC's Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform (LASER) at the conference "Evaluation of Inquiry-based Teaching, Scientific Reasoning and Critical Thinking:  State of Play and Prospects for the Future" held at the Simone and Cino Del Duca Foundation on December 7th, 2017 in Paris. Organized jointly by the Académie des Sciences - Institut de France and the Fondation La main à la pâte in partnership with the Department of Evaluation, Foresight and Performance (DEPP) of the Ministry of National Education and the network of Homes for science, this symposium brought together leading players in the field of research on the scientific reasoning of students, inquiry-based science education, evaluation of educational devices. It focused on identifying, disseminating and exploring tools and modalities for evaluating different aspects of inquiry-based science education, both at the classroom level and at the system level. 

LASER Study Results Cited by STANYS Suffolk News

November 22, 2017

Glen Cochrane, Section Chair of the Science Teachers' Association of NY State (STANYS), cited the SSEC's LASER study when he discussed the New York State P-12 Science Learning Standards (NYSSLS) in his recent STANYS Suffolk News blog. The NYSSLS standards are grade banded with specific Performance Expectations, which gives teachers and curriculum designers guidance as to what students are expected to know and do at the end of instruction. As Glen indicates, "The challenge for STANYS and the science specialists across New York is how to support the transition of elementary teachers into NYSSLS. Elementary teachers feel they lack the background and confidence to dive into developing curriculum for science, and NYSSLS elementary programs need a good curriculum that maintains fidelity with the intent of the new standards. The elementary teachers and administrators need the training to recognize materials that are aligned and provide constructivist learning opportunities." SSEC is developing K-8 curriculum materials to support New York State teachers in implementing these new standards.

Diplomatic Courier Moderates IMF’s New Economy Talks on the Future of Work

November 18, 2017

At the recent International Monetary Fund (IMF) Annual Meeting in Washington, DC the Diplomatic Courier moderated two New Economy Forum discussions on the future of work, in continuation of its work advancing conversation on the subject through the Global Talent Summit, convened annually to “look at the technological, economic, socio-economic, and political dimensions of a post-employment world.”

In these “New Economy Talks”, Diplomatic Courier Chief Ana C. Rold spoke with venture capitalist Scott Hartley and Smithsonian Science Education Center Director Carol O’Donnell about how they anticipate automation will impact the landscape of early childhood education and how we cultivate new talent to address looming global challenges including infectious disease, water scarcity, energy security, and climate change.

SSEC's Dr. Amy D'Amico Serves as Technical Advisor for "Portable Laboratories" Initiative in Chile

November 15, 2017

Dr. Amy D'Amico, Division Director for Professional Services at the Smithsonian Science Education Center, was a technical advisor for the initiative called "Portable Laboratories" of the Allende Connelly Foundation and the Institute of Biomedical Sciences of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Chile. This initiative brings experiential learning from the Portable Laboratory to public schools of the Metropolitan Region so that students can engage in inquiry-based science education firsthand. This initiative achieved support of the Ministry of Education in 2016 and is now in seven regions of the country with the support of nine universities. In addition to Dr. D'Amico, who represented science education in the United States, other technical support came from colleagues in Italy and France. 

Photo of Dr. Amy D'Amico from the Smithsonian Science Education Center

Read more at:

http://www.uchile.cl/noticias/138587/escolares-de-regiones-e...

http://www.icbm.cl/entrevista/estudio-de-peces-cebras-y-bact...

http://csbiol.udec.cl/proyecto-laboratorios-portatiles-fue-e...

SSEC Director Carol O'Donnell Invited to Give a Talk at Meeting German Leibniz Association

November 10, 2017

SSEC Director, Carol O'Donnell, presented on the work of the Smithsonian Science Education Center at a two-day meeting, "Aim, Scope, and Challenges of Research Museums: An exchange between the Smithsonian Institution and the Leibniz Association " on 30-31 October. Organized by Scott Miller, Deputy Undersecretary for Collections and Interdisciplinary Support (DUSCIS), the meeting brought together a number of Smithsonian staff and representatives from a number of the 91 institutional members of the Leibniz Association. The Leibniz Association is a union of German non-university research institutes from various branches of study and has a number of similarities to the Smithsonian Institution. O'Donnell's talk focused on the work of SSEC's LASER program and its impact on the German education program called "TuWAS".

SSEC Director, Carol O'Donnell, to Keynote at ETH Zurich University 2018 Global Talent Summit

November 6, 2017

Smithsonian Science Education Center Director, Dr. Carol O'Donnell, has been invited to present at the Global Talent Summit 2018, hosted by ETH Zurich University in its historic campus in Zurich, Switzerland. The Global Talent Summit 2018 will bring together multi-disciplinary stakeholders from the private sector, policy, academia/K-12 STEM education, and innovation to discuss the trends and solutions for the future of work and education. It its 5th year, the Global Talent Summit has convened over 2000 strategists, key opinion leaders, and relevant stakeholders to shape the future of talent through education, innovation, and recruitment. To learn about the other speakers, read publications on this important topic facing STEM educators today, and register for the event, go to: http://globaltalentsummit.org/

STEM Professional Development Expert Katie Gainsback Delivers Talk at International Gender Summit

November 6, 2017

Katie Gainsback, STEM Professional Development Expert at the Smithsonian Science Education Center, delivered a talk at the 2017 Gender Summit on "Diversifying the STEM Community of Tomorrow: Educational, Extracurricular, and Community Influences". The Gender Summit is a platform for dialogue where scientists, policymakers, gender scholars and stakeholders in science systems examine new research evidence showing when, why, and how biological differences and socio-cultural differences between females and males impact outcomes. The aim is to reach consensus where improvements to science knowledge and science practice are needed and who should take action. 

SSEC Experts in STEM Education–Katie Gainsback and Brian Mandell–to Present at STEM Innovations Summit in Wisconsin

November 6, 2017

On November 16, 2017, Einstein Project is partnering with the Smithsonian Science Education Center and Carolina Biological to bring a free summit for Wisconsin administrators, school superintendents, curriculum directors and educators. Held at the Weidner Center (UW-Green Bay), this event presents STEM Talks by the Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor, a local CEO, Brian Mandell and Katie Gainsback as guest speakers from the Smithsonian, and a panel discussion from Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. There will also be a Makerspace presentation and panel discussion. To register for the event go to: http://einsteinportal.2bsolutions.net/public-events/

Dr. Brian Mandell to Present at "It's Go Time!" Lesson Study Conference in New York

November 6, 2017

Dr. Brian Mandell will lead a workshop at the “It’s Go Time! Science for All,” Conference in New York on November 7th, 2017. The conference in Mattydale will focus on the new standards but also incorporate a research-driven professional development practice called "Lesson Study," which is generally defined as a collaborative process for planning, analyzing, and continuously improving instructional practices.

At the conference, teachers and students from four Central New York districts will be participating in lessons aligned with the new state learning standards and based on curriculum modules developed by the Smithsonian Science Education Center. As the lessons unfold, conference participants will stand close by, observing individual students and taking notes on how each student’s learning progresses. The event marks the second year of a unique collaboration between the Onondaga-Cortland-Madison Board of Cooperative Educational Services (OCM BOCES) and the Syracuse University School of Education. Support is provided by a 100kin10 grant to the Smithsonian Science Education Center and from several local teacher centers: Central New York/Oswego County; Jamesville DeWitt/Syracuse University; West Genesee/Syracuse University; Syracuse; and Cayuga-Onondaga.

Read more at http://www.ocmboces.org/teacherpage.cfm?teacher=3307

Dr. Brian Mandell to Serve as Keynote Speaker at the SECO Ohio Chapter of the National Science Teachers Association Annual Conference

November 6, 2017

On January 29-30, 2018, Dr. Brian Mandell, Division Director for Curriculum & Communications, will be the Keynote speaker at the annual conference of SECO--the Ohio Chapter of the National Science Teachers Association--where he will talk about the work of the Smithsonian Science Education Center's efforts to research and develop curriculum materials that address the five strands of the conference: (1) design and engineering principles; (2) resources for inquiry-learning; (3) earth, life, and physical science content; (4) the integration of arts and literacy into science curriculum; and, (5) the integration of math and technology into science teaching. To register for the event go to: https://scienceeducationofohio1.wildapricot.org/page-18198

SSEC's International Education Expert Katherine Blanchard Presents at the AEMASE III, African-European-Mediterranean Academies for Science Education in Paris

October 30, 2017

Katherine Blanchard, International Education expert at the Smithsonian Science Education Center, presented on SSEC's LASER program at the AEMASE III, African-European-Mediterranean Academies for Science Education on October 3-4, 2017 in Paris. In Africa as in Europe, the network AEMASE is dedicated to transforming science education in schools, focusing on the formation of reasoning through student inquiry as a solid cornerstone for educating responsible citizens, and developing students' science and technology skills. AEMASE III also emphasizes teacher training in inquiry-based education. It seeks to prepare more scientifically literate citizens, put the economy on track, improve the standard of living, and combat the current global challenges.

Washington State's North Central Education Service District (NCESD) and LASER Alliance Chooses Smithsonian's STCMS Units for its New 2017 Middle School Curriculum

October 30, 2017

The STEM Materials Center of the North Central Educational Service District (NCESD) will be rolling out the nine new Smithsonian STCMS middle school units in the Fall of 2017 after Washington State adopted the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in 2013, now called the Washington State 2013 K-12 Science Learning Standards. NCESD materials cooperative is one small part of the Smithsonian Science Education Center’s Theory of Action which incorporates the SSEC's Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform (LASER) model that describes the infrastructure for transforming science education. This model includes: research-based, inquiry-driven curriculum; professional development; materials support; administrative and community support; and appropriate assessment. The following districts will use the Smithsonian's STCMS curriculum: Brewster, Bridgeport, Cashmere, Eastmont, Entiat, Nespelem, Orondo, Quincy, Tonasket, Warden, and Waterville, with these districts piloting: Ephrata, Lake Chelan, Moses Lake, and Omak.

Smithsonian Science Education Center Cited by Market Watch and News Agencies on the Benefits of STEM Education

October 30, 2017

Several recent articles have cited the Smithsonian Science Education Center when referencing the importance of STEM education in promoting and supporting our future STEM workforce, including KRIS TV in Corpus Christi, TX and Market Watch.
 

The Smithsonian Science Education Center Launches New Internship Partnership with J. Craig Venter Institute

October 20, 2017

A new joint internship opportunity between the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) and the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) will offer undergraduate and graduate students an opportunity to participate in cutting edge research with scientists at JCVI, while also working at SSEC on developing international curriculum materials aligned with the U.N.'s Global Sustainability Development Goals that help bring this research to young students across the globe.  This is an excellent opportunity for both science majors who may be interested in pursuing a path in education, and for education majors looking to gain valuable experience in a professional laboratory.

Beverly Hills Middle School Teacher Mrs. Carolina Rogers Welcomes Her Students This Semester with STCMS

October 12, 2017

Mrs. Carolina Rogers, a 6th grade middle school teacher in at Beverly Hills Middle School in the Upper Darby School District of PA, is eager to welcome her students back to school this fall so she can introduce them the Smithsonian's new Science and Technology Concepts for Middle School (STCMS) curriculum, which was selected to reflect the PA science standards.  The STCMS curriculum was developed by the Smithsonian Science Education Center and published by Carolina Biological. STCMS is a hands on, inquiry based program that integrates engineering and design throughout each unit.  

Departments of Special Education and Biochemistry at the University of Missouri Team up to Support the Use of Inquiry-based Science Education

October 9, 2017

Missouri middle school teachers and their students will learn different ways to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics under a new federal NIH SEPA grant. The National Institutes of Health awarded a $1.25 million Science Education Partnership Award to a team led by Missouri Univeristy professors in the departments of special education and biochemistry. The grant will be used to lead a program to improve middle school students’ STEM literacy and skills and give professional development to teachers. The Smithsonian Science Education Center, cited in the article for its expertise in inquiry, has evidence of the impact of inquiry-based science methods on students with special needs: https://ssec.si.edu/laser-i3.

See also: https://ssec.si.edu/impacting-student-learning 

 

SSEC Director, Carol O'Donnell, Contributes Article on the Role STEM Educators Play in Developing Future Global Talent

October 6, 2017

The global skills gap for filling science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) jobs that permeates today’s job market can only be reduced by developing STEM skills early in primary and secondary schools. The current trend of employers—only hiring the most talented individuals—has created a great demand for positions with little to no qualified individuals to fill them. By cultivating these STEM skills early in primary and secondary schools, however, educators and professionals in both the public and private sector are helping prospective employees become equipped with the foundational skills necessary to succeed in the STEM workplace. In this article from the Diplomatic Courier, Carol O'Donnell, the Director of the Smithsonian Science Education Center, discusses the role STEM educators play in developing future global talent.

Smithsonian Science Education Center Releases “Aquation: The Freshwater Access Game” App

September 29, 2017

The Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) has announced the release of “Aquation: The Freshwater Access Game.” “Aquation” is a single-player digital-strategy game that enables students to study the science that guides the hydrosphere as it relates to the global availability of freshwater. It uses water resource data and gross domestic product data to identify, on a color-coded map, areas of excess water and areas of water scarcity. “Aquation” incorporates world events like droughts, fires and heavy rain to familiarize students with concepts of unequal distribution of resources, differences in location and research efforts into water conservation.

SSEC Director, Carol O'Donnell, to Give Talk at the International Monetary Fund on the Role of STEM Education in Preparing Future Global Talent

September 18, 2017

Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, will host the New Economy Forum at this year's IMF annual conference to be held October 11, 2017 at the IMF Headquarters in Washington, DC. This forum will focus on the future of work from three areas. First, the technological innovations that will bring about the changes in our workplaces and labor markets; second, the skills and education necessary to adapt to those changes and lastly, the socio-economic impact of technological innovations and how to design policies that respond to these changes while ensuring a sustainable and inclusive prosperity. Dr. Carol O'Donnell, Director of the Smithsonian Science Education Center will be interviewed by Ana Rold, Publisher and CEO of the Diplomatic Courier, on how STEM educators are helping to prepare for a post-employment society.

Watch the video here: http://www.imf.org/external/mmedia/view.aspx?vid=5607014056001

SSEC Director, Carol O'Donnell, Attends Working Conference in Erice, Italy to Address Climate Change Education

September 16, 2017

Article 12 of the Paris Agreement states that: “Parties shall cooperate in taking measures, as appropriate, to enhance climate change education. To that end, La Main à la Pâte – a French foundation committed to promoting inquiry-based science education – convened a working conference in Erice, Sicily, Italy, on 1-7 September 2017. The meeting was attended by some 35 experts in climate change science, education and related areas from some 15 countries. Among the participants was InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) Coordinator, Peter McGrath, and member of the IAP Science Education Programme’s Global Council, Carol O’Donnell of the Smithsonian Science Education Center in the USA. The workshop was held at the Ettore Majorana Foundation and Centre for Scientific Culture, where participants brainstormed on how available teaching materials might be crafted into curriculum frameworks, and how such curricula could be translated and adapted for use in different countries.

Secretary Skorton is Honored by the National Library of Medicine

September 15, 2017

David J. Skorton, Secretary of the Smithsonian and a board-certified cardiologist, recently honored the National Library of Medicine (NLM) with a visit to learn about its historical collections and exhibitions. Given NLM's successful engagement with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in both the display of Civil War nurse Amanda Akin’s diary in the Albert H. Small Documents Gallery, and the creation of the popular traveling banner exhibition From DNA to Beer: Harnessing Nature in Medicine and Industry, it was also a chance to discuss future collaborative opportunities. As Secretary, Dr. Skorton oversees 19 museums and galleries, 21 libraries, the National Zoo and numerous education and research centers, including the Smithsonian Astrophysics Observatory, the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, and the Smithsonian Science Education Center. Under his leadership, a new strategic plan has been developed with a focus on convening critical conversations about topics of vital public interest. 

The South Carolina Science Council Will Host Professional Development Workshops on SSEC's New Curriculum

September 11, 2017

Join the South Carolina Science Council's premiere professional development event November 8-10, 2017 . This conference is designed for science teachers, by science teachers, to enhance science education. The conference will include workshops on the Smithsonian Science Education Center's (SSEC) new STCMS middle school curriculum modules, as well as SSEC's two new newly released elementary curriculum modules from our "Smithsonian Science for the Classroom" curriculum.

Medford, NJ Teacher Sharon Thomas Welcomes Her Students This Semester with STCMS

September 11, 2017

Ms Sharon Thomas, a middle school teacher in Medford, NJ, is eager to welcome her students back to school this fall so she can introduce them the Smithsonian's new STCMS curriculum, which was selected to reflect the New Jersey Student Learning Standards.  The curriculum was created by the Smithsonian Science Education Center and is called Science and Technology Concepts for Middle School (STCMS).  As Ms. Thomas explains to her students' parents, STCMS is a hands on, inquiry based program that integrates engineering and design throughout each unit.  Each classroom will have a class set of textbooks and students will have access to the textbook online for use outside of the classroom. 

Denver Post Highlights New After School STEM Project Coordinated by the Smithsonian Science Education Center

August 22, 2017 

A new alliance between the Smithsonian Science Education Center and TLS/Aspen begins in earnest this fall, when Aspen High School students will mentor middle school students in a program titled “Always Thinking Like a Scientist,” or ATLAS. The Aspen ATLAS sessions will be under the umbrella of the Smithsonian as a proof-of-concept program which, if successful, could be implemented in other after-school clubs throughout the country.

President ECOSF held a virtual meeting with Smithsonian Science Education Center

August 22, 2017

Katherine Blanchard, a program specialist at the Smithsonian Science Education Center with a Masters Degree in International Education, interviewed the Founder President of the ECO Science Foundation (ECOSF). The Foundation was established in Islamabad-Pakistan on 20 December 2011 as a Specialized Agency of the ECO. It is mandated to promote scientific and technological research collaboration and other relevant activities among the member states, leading to socioeconomic development in the region. In addition, to strengthen the science base of future generations and the region's economy, the Foundation is promoting science education at school level, using an Inquiry Based Science Education (IBSE) approach. The IBSE pedagogy for teaching Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) encourages and motivates students in science through the hands-on, minds-on activities. 

Smithsonian Partners with Aspen School Project to Test Proof of Concept for the "Network for Emergent Scientific Thinking" (NEST)

August 20, 2017

On July 28, the Smithsonian, through its Smithsonian Science Education Center, formalized its alliance with Global Partnership for Science Education Through Engagement's (GSEE's) Think Like a Scientist initiative. That came to fruition by entering a memorandum of understanding with GSEE, in which the Smithsonian Science Education Center would establish the Network for Emergent Scientific Thinking (NEST) with Aspen's "Always Thinking Like a Scientist" (ATLAS) after school program–an experimental pilot program that would test a collaborative new approach between scientists and science educators to reach a middle school audience through high school and scientist mentorship.

Aspen's Live Morning Show Interviews SSEC Director, Carol O'Donnell, About New Colorado Initiative

August 17, 2017 

Carol O'Donnell, Director of the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC), was interviewed live by the early morning Aspen show "The Lift" to discuss the SSEC's new Colorado initiative to help students "Always Think Like a Scientist" (ATLAS) and to engage scientists and science educators across the globe in the new "Network for Emergent Scientific Thinking" (NEST), an initiative started by Physicist Dr. David Pines and recently transferred to the SSEC through an Memorandum of Understanding between the Global Partnership for Science Education through Engagement (GSEE) and the SSEC. The Lift is Aspen, Colorado's live, local morning show airing 7 days per week on TV channel 82 and streamed live on aspen82.com.

Carol O'Donnell Unterview from The Lift on Vimeo.

Sinclair Broadcast Group Interviews Dr. Brian Mandell of SSEC About the Solar Eclipse

August 11, 2017 

Dr. Brian Mandell, Division Director of SSEC's Curriculum & Communications Division and Adjunct Professor at George Mason University, was among a cast of experts interviewed by Sinclair Broadcast Group regarding the recent solar eclipse viewing event. Other interviewees included Dr. David Evans, Executive Director of the National Science Teachers Association, and Rebecca Ljungren, astronomy educator at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (NASM).

Rocky Mountain Prep Creekside help SSEC Celebrate Acceptance into the Colorado STEMworks Database

August 8, 2017

Students and teachers at Rocky Mountain Prep Creekside help the SSEC celebrate their acceptance into the Colorado STEMworks database with a football from Colorado Technology Association and the Denver Broncos. Rocky Mountain Prep Creekside is one of 21 schools participating in the SSEC’s Colorado LASER Initiative.

SSEC Division Director Dr. Brian Mandell Invited to Present at 2nd Annual Science Lesson Study Conference

August 2, 2017

The second It’s Go Time Conference will occur on November 7, 2017 in Syracuse, NY. This conference will have a dual focus on the New York State P-12 Science Learning Standards (NYSSLS) and the professional development practice of lesson study (a collaborative process for planning, analyzing, and continuously improving instructional practices, see www.lessonresearch.net). The focus of the conference will be science for all students, which will be supported by examining how lesson study can support teacher learning and instructional practices that facilitate equitable and rigorous content learning opportunities for all students. Dr. Brian Mandell will host a workshop on SSEC curriculum materials at the conference.

ASTEROID 25232 NAMED FOR ASTRONOMER AND SCIENCE EDUCATOR DENNIS SCHATZ

August 1, 2017

SEATTLE, WA (August 1, 2017) – The International Astronomical Union named Asteroid 25232 Asteroid Schatz to honor Dennis Schatz, Senior Advisor at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle, for his distinguished career in and dedication to science education.

The asteroid was discovered by the Lowell Observatory Near-Earth Object Search (LONEOS) in 1998.  Astronomer Larry Wasserman, a planetary scientist at Lowell, suggested the designation to the IAU.

Asteroid Schatz is located in the main belt of asteroids between Mars and Jupiter, and orbits about 269 million miles from the Sun (for contrast, the Earth is only 93 million miles from our star.)

Schatz is perhaps best known in the area of astronomy education for creating a host of inquiry-based, hands-on astronomy activities which are in use in many thousands of schools, science museums, and other educational settings around the world.  Among these are: “The ‘Make-Your-Own Comet’ Recipe,” “Create an Alien,” “The Reasons for the Seasons Symposium,” and “Making a Pocket Sun-clock.”

Blogger Highlights SSEC's Expertise in the Value of Experiential Learning and Grand Challenges

July 24, 2017

One of the most expedient methods for making STEM matter in schools is through the value of experiential learning and grand challenges. What does that mean? It means creating programs in schools that help girls and minority students engage in real-world problems. Having a student identify an issue or problem in their school, their community, their country or their world and devise a way to solve it is real life learning, the kind that leaves a lasting impression. Blogger Jennifer Wolfe, who reports on education issues of our times, discusses examples of academic institutions--including the Smithsonian Science Education Center--that are striving to make STEM matter in schools in creative, exciting and innovative ways.

Education Dive Article on ESSA Cites Smithsonian Science Education Center

July 19, 2017

Education Dive reported that former federal accountability measures under No Child Left Behind, as well as Common Core standards derived from them, primarily emphasized reading and math, which left many schools pushing science education to the background. However, this created serious gaps in learning for students and a general lack of interest in science education overall. Education Dive also reports that in considering the K-12 to workforce pipeline, employers are increasingly concerned that students will not be able to fill jobs and cites this page from the Smithsonian Science Education Center, which shows that STEM jobs are not only growing, but that many STEM jobs will go unfilled due to lack of qualified candidates.

SSEC Teams Up with National Museum of African American History and Culture for 2017 Teacher SSEAT Academy on Energy

July 10, 2017

SSEC hosts three Smithsonian Science Education Academies for Teachers (SSEATs) professional development academies in Washington, D.C. each year. The academies include: Biodiversity (June 18-23); Energy’s Innovations and Implications (July 9-14); and Earth's History and Global Change (July 30-August 4). This year, for the first time, the Smithsonian will collaborate with the National Museum of African American History and Culture to develop one day of programming for the Energy’s Innovations and Implications academy. The program will focus on the museum’s LEED (Leadership and Energy in Environmental Design) Gold certification, and participants will have an opportunity to take a behind-the-scenes look at the museum’s sustainability measures, including a green roof and water recycling system, and view the facility through the eyes of one of the museum’s architects and a structural engineer.

Dr. Amy D'Amico, Division Director for SSEC Professional Services, Invited to Present at Global Gender Summit

July 10, 2017

 Dr. Amy D'Amico has been invited to speak at the Gender Summit, which has as one of its goals greater gender equality by increasing the number of women in scientific roles. Dr. D'Amico will participate in the panel, "Diversifying the STEM Community of Tomorrow: Educational, Extracurriculuar, and Community Influences." The panel will focus on the many factors influencing girls’ decisions to pursue postgraduate studies and careers in STEM. These factors include the way they are taught science and technology in school, the availability and quality of science-based extracurricular activities, and the effects of STEM experiences in the community in which they live. Together, such factors shape girls’ choices about their futures. The goal of this session is to explore ways to diversify the STEM community of tomorrow by understanding the impact of early-life STEM-related influences and by determining best practices that could help to increase the diversity of the STEM community.

Senior Science Curriculum Developer, Dr. Katya Vines, Shares Her Expertise with the Smithsonian Magazine

July 10, 2017

Smithsonian Magazine's "Ask Smithsonian" series drew on the expertise of Senior Science Curriculum Developer, Dr. Katya Vines, when readers asked, "I was taught that there are three kinds of matter: solids, liquids and gases. But aren’t there others?" To read Dr. Vines' answer to this question and other questions like it from readers, go to:  http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/do-animals-have-baby-teeth-more-questions-readers-180963688/#ffE5H6xr1T3SmoDY.99

LASER Highlighted in Smithsonian's Research Highlights for Regents

June 26, 2017

The June 2017 Smithsonian Research Highlights, prepared for the Board of Regents, describes an invited chapter authored by the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) and published in the anthology "Theories and Fundamentals of Inquiry Based Science Teaching." The chapter outlines results from SSEC's i3 validation study on LASER. The Smithsonian Institution was created by Congress in 1846 as "an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge." Congress vested responsibility for the administration of the Smithsonian in a Board of Regents, consisting of the Chief Justice of the United States, the Vice President of the United States, three members of the United States Senate, three members of the United States House of Representatives, and nine citizens. The Board of Regents meets at least four times each year and typically convenes in the Regents Room. For more information on the Board of Regents, see: https://www.si.edu/regents

"Second Opinion" Highlights Smithsonian Science Education Center Resources Focused on Climate Change

June 26, 2017

With its breadth and depth of expertise in science, the arts, history, technology, and education, the Smithsonian Institution is uniquely poised to be a catalyst for convening a national conversation about the critical issues of the day. "Second Opinion" is an Institution-wide partnership to create a digital platform for thought leaders to explore challenges facing the nation and the world at large, from climate change to education, to technology, to the arts. Four times a year, the Institution convenes a panel of experts representing a spectrum of thought for a roundtable discussion on an issue facing the nation. This quarter's issue on climate change includes educational resources from the Smithsonian Science Education Center.

The Smithsonian Science Education Center Teams Up with Diplomatic Courier in 2018 to Discuss the Role of Education in Preparing Global Talent

June 26, 2017

The Smithsonian Science Education Center will team up again with Diplomatic Courier as it organizes the fifth annual 2018 Global Talent Summit. Join us January 20, 2018 at ETH Zurich University in Switzerland as we convene educators from around the globe to discuss critical conversations that affect our nation and the world. Particularly, "How do we prepare our students for the future--a world of unprecedented change in the age of machine learning and artificial intelligence?"

Research on Smithsonian Curriculum: Results from Sweden

June 26, 2017

This book, "Technology Teachers as Researchers: Philosophical and Empirical Technology Education Studies in the Swedish TUFF Research School," presents the scientific output of the TUFF research school in Sweden, where a group of active teachers worked together on a series of educational research studies related to STEM teaching. Chapter 1 (pp. 120 - 140) outlines Swedish teachers' use of the Smithsonian curriculum called STC (or NTA, the Swedish version of STC), and outcomes on student learning.

SSEC Presents its Plans to Release Free Online "Zika!" Curriculum Module at Square Roots' Launch of BIRTHMARK®: First National Platform to Support Pregnancy Wellness

June 26, 2017

Health experts says that there is a possible link between zika fever and microcephaly in new born babies by mother to child transmission. The Smithsonian Science Education Center, together with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP), and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), are developing a curriculum module called "Zika!" to help students better understand this virus and other mosquito-borne diseases. SSEC Director, Dr. Carol O'Donnell, is helping to spread the word about this free online module, with the hope of disseminating it globally after its release in May 2018. On June 23, 2017, Carol traveled to Miami to present information on "Zika!" at Miami City Hall, along with Miami's Mayor, in an event lead by Square Roots' CEO, Morad Fareed, who sits on the SSEC National Advisory Board. This event is the first of 40 to come to identify BIRTHMARK Cities committed to educating their community--including youth--about pregnancy health and wellness. "Zika!" is being funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and will be disseminated with the help of the Johnson & Johnson global network.

Disaster Detector Named 2017 Best App for Teaching & Learning by the American Association of School Librarians

June 24, 2017

Disaster Detector is named a 2017 Best App for Teaching & Learning by the American Association of School Librarians.

The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) announced its 2017 list of Best Apps for Teaching & Learning at the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference in Chicago. The list of apps provides technology resources for school librarians and their teacher collaborators. Now in its fifth year, the list is considered the "best of the best" by AASL.

Article on Stanford Research Highlights SSEC Good Thinking Webisode "That's So Meta(Cognitive)"

June 20, 2017

A study published in April 2017 by a Stanford research fellow claims to have solved part of the problem of how to boost student performance in schools. It's not just studying alone. It's how you study that is the real key. In this article, learn more about Stanford research which shows that a simple intervention can help students think about their own thinking before exams. See their reference to the SSEC Good Thinking webisode, "That's so Meta(cognitive)."

Teachers from Eight States Will Attend SSEC's Year-long SSEATs Professional Development Opportunity

June 20, 2017

A group of 38 teachers from eight states will benefit from world-class training as a partnership between The Dow Chemical Company, CH2M, and the Smithsonian Science Education Center is renewed for another year. Participants in the 2017 Dow-CH2M Smithsonian Teacher Scholar Program will participate in the six-day Smithsonian Science Education Academies for Teachers (SSEATs) in Washington, D.C., then continue on a year-long growth experience tailored to expanding science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) excellence.

SSEC Blog on "The Science of Rainbows" Serves as Resource for "One Hand Speaks" Podcast

June 14, 2017

AlejAndro Anastasio of "One Hand Speaks" has spoken in Malaysia, Singapore, Finland, Estonia, Austria, the Czech Republic and across the United States. In this podcast, AlejAndro shares his unique perspective of resilience, resolve, and flexibility and the beauty of rainbows, drawing on the content from the SSEC STEMVisions Blog, "The Science of Rainbows." Having a unique perspective on overcoming obstacles, AlejAndro has spoken and inspired people of all ages by helping them realize the power of their thinking. Born and raised in Indiana without his left hand, AlejAndro has decided to look at all the benefits of a one handed life through the power of thinking.

SSEC Contributes to George Washington University Programs Reaching More Than 500 Future Teachers

June 14, 2017

George Washington University is engaged in several programs to advance the STEM teaching workforce. GWTeach is a GW undergraduate program that prepares STEM majors to become teachers; a new partnership between GWTeach and the Smithsonian Science Education Center; along with GWNoyce, an NSF-funded program where students majoring in STEM will receive two years of tuition in exchange for teaching after graduation in a high-need school district, are all expected to reach more than 500 GW students by 2022. 

Online Issue from "Connected Learning" Features the Role of LASER in the Mid-Columbia STEM Education Collaboratory

June 13, 2017

This article, published by NSTA and ASTC, discusses how the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) created a network focused on collaboration in STEM education to design and deliver projects, resources, and professional learning opportunities in a testbed environment. Other Founding Members of the Mid-Columbia STEM Education Collaboratory include Delta High School, Washington LASER, and MESA—which are all interested in promoting STEM education in the Mid-Columbia region and beyond and have been successful in doing so within their niche areas. WA LASER originated at the Smithsonian Science Education Center in Washington, D.C., and has developed a wide system of support and resources to help educators successfully integrate STEM subjects into their classrooms. LASER assists districts in identifying and implementing locally appropriate strategies for their student populations (e.g., implementing the Science Resource Center, which provides ready-to-use science modules for teachers in K–8 classrooms throughout southeast Washington). Districts select those strategies that best fit the needs of their students and curricula.

SSEC Curriculum Highlighted by One of the Best Kindergarten Schools in NYC

June 10, 2017

The Alexander Robertson School embraces new and energizing programming, and cites the Smithsonian Science Education Center Science and Technology Concepts (STC) curriculum as one of its proud programming offers.

Survey Shows Room for STEM Ed Improvement

June 6, 2017

"Education Dive," an online news outlet for educators, cited facts from the Smithsonian Science Education Center website in its June 2017 article on improving STEM education.

SSEC Teams Up with Dow Chemical to Increase STEM Literacy and Prepare Tomorrow's Workforce

May 24, 2017

Since 2007, Dow has partnered with the Smithsonian Science Education Center to bridge the connection between the classroom and the real world through the Dow Smithsonian Teacher Scholars professional development program. Dow has reached approximately 300 teachers through the program, and in 2016 began co-sponsoring with business partner CH2M to bring DOW employee volunteers—known as STEM Ambassadors—into the classroom to share their knowledge and enthusiasm about science with students, and to build real-world connections with what is being learned in the classroom.

Director of the Smithsonian Science Education Center Talks about the Interdisciplinary Nature of STEM Learning

May 24, 2017

Director of the Smithsonain Science Education Center, Dr. Carol O'Donnell, talks to Dr. Reagan Flowers of C-STEM in Houston, TX about the power of STEM as a form of interdisciplinary learning, and the impact that LASER had on student learning in Houston, not only in science, but in reading and math, particularly for students who are typically underrepresented in science--those who are economically disadvantaged, English Learners, females, and students with disabilities.

SSEC Advisory Board Member Dr. Frazier Wilson is Honored by C-STEM

May 24, 2017

Dr. Frazier Wilson–Vice President of Shell Oil Company Foundation, Manager of Social Investment of Shell Oil Company, and Co-Chair of the Smithsonian Science Education Center's Advisory Board–received the honorary "STEMing the Tide Corporate Leadership Award" from Dr. Regan Flowers, Director of C-STEM.

Washington State's Northshore School District Adopts Smithsonian's New STCMS Curriculum

May 22, 2017

Northshore School District Curriculum Materials Adoption Committee votes to adopt the Smithsonian's STCMS curriculum, which is aligned with the new Washington State standards. Implementation will occur over three years with a gradual rollout of one grade per year to support teacher professional development.

Smithsonian Science Education Center Signs MOU with North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

May 18, 2017

For #InternationalMuseumDay, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, a Smithsonian Affiliate Museum, hosted special guests from the Smithsonian! NCMNS Director Emlyn Koster, PhD, and Chief of School and Lifelong Education Elizabeth Baird joined with officials from Smithsonian for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on achieving high standards for science education and collaboration in North Carolina schools along with the North Carolina Science, Mathematics, and Technology (SMT) Center. NCMNS staff heard about the future of conservation biology from Smithsonian scientist Pierre Cmoizzoli, and Carol O'Donnell shared the work of the Smithsonian Science Education Center. Image of Dr. Carol O'Donnell with staff from the Smithsonian and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science

Good Thinking! to be Highlighted at the Content in Context (CIC) 2017 Conference

May 15, 2017

The Smithsonian Science Education Center's "Good Thinking!" webisode video series will be highlighted at the American Association of Publishers (AAP) PreK-12 Learning Group's 2017 "Content in Context" conference held in Philadelphia, PA May 24-26, 2017. This year's conference discusses the impact that technology has had on publishing—from content development to assessment development. FableVision, who teamed up with the SSEC to develop the online professional development series, "Good Thinking!", will discuss the trends in education publishing, including the increasing use of games, growing interest in augmented reality and virtual reality, reporting of learning data from interactives, and integrating of media into student-centered resources. The Golden Lamp Awards, for which "Good Thinking!" is a finalist, will be held in advance of the conference.

George Washington University and SSEC Team Up to Bring More STEM Teachers to High-Need Schools

May 15, 2017

As part of a new five-year $1.5 million grant program at the George Washington University (GWU) being funded by the National Science Foundation and the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program, which begins Fall 2017, GWU will recruit students who are already studying STEM-based fields and offer them courses, workshops, seminars and service projects to prepare them to be teachers in high-need schools. It also will offer preparatory stipends and projects for freshmen and sophomores who are interested in applying to the program, in conjunction with activities offered by a new partnership between GWTeach and the Smithsonian Science Education Center under an Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed in April 2017 to, among other things, bring GWTeach students to SSEC through its internship program.

SSEC Advisory Board Chair, Kristin Richardson, Recipient of 2017 Imhoff Family Community Award

May 3, 2017

Kristin Richardson, Chair of the Smithsonian Science Education Center Advisory Board, and her husband, Blair, were honored at Imagine 2017, a gala celebrating the 45 anniversary of the Kempe Center for Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect. Blair and Kristin Richardson are recipients of the 2017 Imhoff Family Community Award which recognizes their 22 years of service to, among other things, the Denver Public School Foundation. Kristin Richardson has been instrumental in supporting the SSEC's Colorado LASER project, which provides the five pillars of LASER—curriculum, professional development, materials support, assessment, and community support through the Denver Museum of Nature and Science—to multiple school districts in the Denver region, including Denver Public Schools, Aurora Public Schools, and Fort Collins.

48 HISD schools earn spot on 2016 Texas Honor Roll

April 28, 2017

The Houston Independent School District has 48 schools that have been named to the 2016 Texas Honor Roll by the Educational Results Partnership – 6 of which are former LASER i3 schools and 2 of which attended the Teacher Leadership Summit in February 2017.

The Smithsonian Science Education Center and the National Museum of Natural History Team up to Support the National Academy of Sciences Revelle Lecture Series

April 28, 2017

In 1999, the Ocean Studies Board (OSB) launched the Roger Revelle Commemorative Lecture to highlight the important links between ocean science and public policy. The series was named in honor of the late Roger Revelle, a leader in the field of oceanography for over 50 years who spearheaded efforts to investigate the mechanisms and consequences of climate change. In recognition of the critical importance of education in linking science and public policy, the OSB has partnered with the Smithsonian Science Education Center and the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History to bring the Revelle Lecture to a broader audience. The lecture is held annually in conjunction with the OSB meeting in Washington, DC.

Smithsonian Science Education Center Contributes to "The Future of Work" Report

April 26, 2017

How can education prepare students for the future? While we do not know what the future of education will look like in 2050, we do know that concepts such as critical thinking, creativity, resilience, and productive failure need to be taught and encouraged in students to prepare for them for a world of uncertainty. In this 2017 report, the Diplomatic Courier summarizes the highlights from the 2017 Global Talent Summit's invited Education Panel, which included Dr. Carol O'Donnell, Director of the Smithsonian Science Education Center.

The Smithsonian Science Education Center Contributes Chapter to the Anthology "Theories and Fundamentals of Inquiry Based Science Teaching"

April 5, 2017

The second volume of the Anthology "Theories and Fundamentals of Inquiry Based Science Teaching" is now available. This Spanish version of the compendium was produced by "Innovation in Science Education (INNOVEC)", which is a science education program that promotes the use of Experiential Education Systems and Investigative Science (SEVIC) among elementary school teachers who teach in public schools in Mexico. Mexico bases their nationwide-reform on the Smithsonian Science Education Center's LASER model. Roger Bybee (NGSS Lead Writer); Bruce Alberts, former President of the US National Academy of Sciences; as well as Carol O'Donnell and Amy D'Amico of the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) and the LASER i3 evaluators from the University of Memphis, all contributed chapters to this compendium. If you are interested in the English version of the SSEC chapter, please contact us at: ssecinfo@si.edu.

Smithsonian Science Education Center and Teach For America Team Up To Advance Equity and Excellence in STEM Education

April 4, 2017

The Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) and Teach For America (TFA) will collaborate on a series of projects that promote increasing the equity and excellence in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education, provide novice teachers with robust, research-based resources and pedagogical training, retain and develop excellent science teachers in the profession, provide a support system for TFA corps members who enter the teaching profession and provide the TFA network with tools for developing excellence in STEM education.

Each project incorporates cutting-edge initiatives and educational tools that are developed to transform the teaching and learning of science and align with Next Generation Science Standards. TFA corps members and alumni will have access to a variety of SSEC’s signature resources and services. Professional and leadership development opportunities as well as researched-based curriculum materials and digital educational tools will be available to support TFA corps members and alumni at all levels of expertise to improve student achievement in the STEM disciplines while helping students to develop and master critical 21st-century skills.

Good Thinking! named a Finalist for Best Learning Resources from Association of American Publishers

March 29, 2017

The Smithsonian Science Education Center is honored to announce that Good Thinking!: The Science of Teaching Science was named a REVERE Awards finalist in CLASSROOM- Professional Resources- Innovation. In the company of a diverse group of innovative and rich educational resources, Good Thinking!’s achievement shows the exceptional quality of the product which was designed to support K-12 science educators through targeted short-format videos that explore common student ideas and misconceptions.   

 

Image for Association of American Publishers REVERE Awards Finalist badge

Call for Ideas: Teacher Leadership Summit (May 5-7)

Innovation Through Teacher Leadership Summit
May 5-7, 2017
Columbus, Ohio

SSEC Director, Carol O'Donnell, Invited to Moderate Panel at U.S. News STEM Solutions Conference

March 27, 2017

Many schools across the country are trying to appeal to women and minority students by focusing on projects with strong real-world connections – biomedical engineers building health care devices for low-income communities, for instance, or computer science students addressing environmental concerns through innovative software or apps. Dr. Carol O'Donnell, Director of the Smithsonian Education Center, will moderate the panel "Making STEM Matter: The Value of Experiential Learning and Grand Challenges," in which several schools will discuss the success they have found in enrolling and engaging more underrepresented students by integrating service and hands-on inquiry-based learning into their curricula. To register for the event, go to: usnewsstemsolutions.com/2017-conference-registration/

German President of ECO Science Foundation Visits German Science Education Program Modeled After SSEC's the 5 Pillars of LASER

March 27, 2017 

President ECOSF Dr. Manzoor Soomro of Bonn, Germany visited the German "TuWaS!" (Technik und Naturwissenschaften an Schulen, Technology and Science in Schools) in Cologne on March 8, 2017. "TuWaS!" promotes inquiry-based science education (IBSE) in primary schools in Germany. It was founded in 2007 as a cooperation between the Freie University Berlin, led by Professor Petra Skiand, the Berlin Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and is based on the five pillars of the Smithsonian Science Education Center's LASER model: 1) professional development of teachers, (2) providing teaching material, which is (3) curriculum based, (4) the involvement of the community and (5) assessment. TuWaS! has trained over 1000 teachers and serves over 170 primary schools in four different German states.

Chairman and CEO of Dow Chemical–an SSEC Donor–to Receive STEM Leadership Hall of Fame Award

March 26, 2017

The Dow Chemical Company announced that Andrew Liveris, Dow's chairman and CEO, will receive the U.S. News Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Leadership Hall of Fame Award at the publication's upcoming STEM Solutions National Leadership Conference in San Diego, California. Through its support of the Smithsonian Science Education Academy for Teachers (SSEATs) since 2007, Dow has been helping ignite teachers' and students' excitement for STEM education by exposing teachers to careers in STEM fields.

SSEC Director, Carol O'Donnell, Invited to Give TEDx Talk

March 17, 2017

The Director of the Smithsonian Science Education Center, Dr. Carol O'Donnell, has been invited to give a TEDx talk at TEDxFoggyBottom on April 22, 2017 to be hosted at the George Washington University Campus at the Lisner Auditorium. The 2017 event, whose theme is "Metamorphisis," and will bring together the world's innovators, thinkers, and doers to connect with and empower the Foggy Bottom community. To learn more see: #TEDxFoBo or tedxfoggybottom.com.

The Smithsonian Science Education Center Helps to Lead Master STEM Teaching Training in Yakima, Washington

March 14, 2017

The Smithsonian Science Education Center was invited to lead part of the "Master Trainer Professional Learning" at the Educational Service District (ESD) 105 in Yakima, Washington. Science Master Trainers are classroom teachers, leaders, and advocates for science education, and "agents of change" for the region. They work with ESD 105 Staff to prepare K-5 teachers for the first use of their instructional materials. ESD 105 is one of the LASER alliances of Washington State LASER.

SSEC Highlighted by White House Report for its Work in Increasing the Diversity of STEM Teaching Workforce

March 13, 2017

The Smithsonian participated on the Executive Office of the President – Office of Science and Technology Policy and Office of Personnel Management’s taskforce that looked at increasing diversity in the STEM workforce by reducing the impact of bias. This interagency group focused on sharing best practices for increasing diversity in STEM. The Smithsonian shared initiatives such as the Smithsonian Science Education Center’s partnership with Shell Oil Foundation that addresses stereotypes about gender and ethnicity. To view the full report go to Reducing the Impact of Bias in the STEM Workforce: Strengthening Excellence and Innovation or to view the Report's digest go to Report Digest: Reducing the Impact of Bias in the STEM Workforce

SSEC Highlighted by Smithsonian's Office of Equal Employment & Minority Affairs (OEEMA) for its Focus on Diversity

March 13, 2017

The Smithsonian reflects the diversity of the American people and the world today and strives to maximize its effectiveness, cultural inclusion and internal diversity by welcoming people of all backgrounds. Diversity and inclusion are also integral are also key components in the Smithsonian Strategic Plan. To assist the Smithsonian in its diversity and inclusion goals, OEEMA developed and published the Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives Report (DIIR) in an effort to capture and report on the multiplicity of diversity and inclusion related activities around the Institution, including data from the Smithsonian Science Education Center, which meets the criteria of the Smithsonian's diversity and inclusion initiatives.

2016 Next Steps Institute: In Review

March 10, 2017

STEM leaders came together from September 26-28, 2016 for a 3-day Next Steps Institute jointly hosted by the Smithsonian Science Education Center, South Carolina Coalition for Mathematics and Science, and South Carolina Afterschool Alliance. During that time, attendees participated in one of seven themed pathway programs on topics ranging from STEM in the after school to the nuts and bolts of instructional materials support. See the institute in review via the video below.

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences Highlights the Smithsonian Science Education Center

March 6, 2017

On Wednesday evening, a new relationship between the Smithsonian Science Education Center and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (NCNS) was introduced by Dr. Sam Houston, SSEC Advisory Board member, during the State-of-the-NCMNS function. See particularly minutes 13:30 - 24:00. The NCMNS is a Smithsonian Affiliate museum and its mission is to illuminate the interdependence of nature and humanity.

Smithsonian Curriculum Highlighted in ASSET's "Classroom to Career Connections" Videos

March 3, 2017

These short videos from ASSET in Pittsburgh, PA feature STEM professionals discussing the topics and science content students are learning in the classroom as well as STEM careers and career pathways. Watch the first video below connecting engineering and geology professionals to the Rocks and Minerals module from the Smithsonian's STC Unit.

Smithsonian Academy Teacher One of 20 to Win National Award

March 2, 2017 

Alexis Daniels who teaches science at Port Allen High School won a $1,000 scholarship to attend the National Science Teacher conference in Los Angeles, March 30 through April 2. Last year Daniels attended the Smithsonian Science Education Academy for Teachers (SSEAT) where she met with scientists who study earth history and climate change. Daniels was asked to help present information to local teachers by SSEAT as the program travels to different states.

Howard University Celebrates its 150th Anniversary and Partners with the Smithsonian Science Education Center to Prepare a Diverse Teacher Workforce

February 21, 2017

The Howard University School of Education, in partnership with the Smithsonian Science Education Center, will co-sponsor a national STEM Teacher Leadership Summit to be held at Howard University to promote increased diversification of the STEM teaching field. Preparing a diverse teacher workforce is tied to the early mission of Howard University, noting that the university opened its doors 150 years ago to prepare teachers. This program continues that tradition and further works to prepare a diverse teaching force to create a more diverse population within the STEM disciplines. STEM teachers and leaders from around the nation from underrepresented groups will be in attendance at this event.

InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) for Health Joins IAP Science Education Programme

February 21, 2017

On February 5-9th, 2017, some 80 participants gathered in Khartoum along with the Sudanese National Commission for Education, Science and Culture; the Sudanese National Academy of Sciences (SNAS); and the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP). At the meeting, IAP coordinator, Peter McGrath, introduced a new project being led by the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC). The project, which will focus on Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases, aims to develop curricula for primary and middle-school-aged children so that they develop an awareness of the dangers of mosquitoes and the diseases they transmit, and how they can reduce the risks of becoming infected. During the one-year project, funded by the Moore Foundation, the curricula developed will be tested, refined, and then also translated into Spanish before being made freely available for download.

IAP Science Education Programme Unveals in Khartoum SSEC's Role in Developing Zika Curriculum

February 17, 2017

The InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) Science Education Progamme (SEP) convened a series of meetings recently in Khartoum, Sudan (5-9 February 2017), including a two-day Inquiry-based Science Education (IBSE) Policy Forum (7-8 February).  With the establishment of the IAP in 2016, ongoing projects and programmes, including across health and science education, are now starting to integrate. One example of this is a new project being led by IAP SEP Global Council member, Dr. Carol O’Donnell of the Smithsonian Science Education Center, which will focus on Zika and other Mosquito Borne Diseases. The project, which has just kicked off, aims to develop curricula for primary and middle-school-aged children so that they develop an awareness of the dangers of mosquitoes and the diseases they transmit, and how they can reduce the risks of becoming infected. 

Dow, CH2M Partner with Smithsonian Science Education Center to Provide Baton Rouge Teachers STEM Training

February 15, 2017

Dow and the engineering firm CH2M have partnered with the Smithsonian Science Education Center to bring the Smithsonian STEM Education Forum to Baton Rouge on February 18th. According to a news release, the forum provides 50 local teachers the training to incorporate engineering into their classrooms to advance science, technology, engineering and math education, also known as STEM. The forum will feature experts from the Smithsonian Science Education Center, a unit of the Smithsonian Institution, Dow and CH2M volunteers and two Louisiana Tech professors. Dow STEM Ambassador volunteers and CH2M employee volunteers also will provide continued support to teachers in their classrooms.

Dow, CH2M and Smithsonian Science Education Center Join Forces to Provide Professional Development to Teachers

February 15, 2017

Committed supporters of STEM education, Dow and CH2M partnered with the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) to bring the Smithsonian STEM Education Forum to Baton Rouge. The Forum provided 50 local teachers with a day of hands-on training that will empower them to incorporate engineering into their classrooms, benefiting hundreds of local students for years to come. The Forum featured experts from SSEC, two professors from Louisiana Tech University, along with Dow and CH2M employee volunteers.

KDSL Global Founder will Serve as a Mentor at STEM Diversity Summit

February 2, 2017

 KDSL Global Founder Kevin Simpson has been selected to serve as a mentor at the Smithsonian Science Education Center and Shell Oil Company’s Teacher Leadership Summit: Attracting, Retaining, and Developing a Diverse STEM Teaching Workforce this February 2017 at Howard University in Washington, D.C. At this summit, teams of educators will create a plan for attracting, retaining, and developing a diverse STEM teaching workforce in their districts to become catalysts for systemic change.

The InterAcademy Partnership (IAP)--the Global Network of Science Academies--Highlights the Smithsonian Science Education Center's New Grant to Develop "Zika!"

February 1, 2017

The Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC)--in collaboration with scientists from the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP), Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA)--has received a grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to develop "Zika!", an online, inquiry-based science education (IBSE) curriculum module for K-8 teachers and students to address the challenges and mitigation of mosquito-borne diseases, with a particular focus on the dengue and Zika viruses.

Interview with Dr. Carol O'Donnell, Director, Smithsonian Science Education Center

January 29, 2017

How do we prepare our K-12 students for the workforce of tomorrow? Listen to Dr. Carol O'Donnell, Director of the Smithsonian Science Education Center, at the 2017 Global Talent Summit as she discusses our role as educators in working with both the public and private sector to prepare our students for the unprecedented changes they face in tomorrow's STEM workforce.

Liverpool, New York teachers bring Smithsonian into classrooms

January 27, 2017

The Smithsonain Science Education Center was featured on the Liverpool Central School District website in Liverpool, New York. The article showcases how teachers at Long Brance Elementary and Willow Field Elementary are using our curriculum in their classrooms. 

5 Good Elementary School Activities from the Smithsonian

January 27, 2017

In this month's blog, Richard Byrne, author of "Free Technology for Teachers," highlights free resources from the Smithsonian designed for elementary school students and teachers. Three of the five resources are from the Smithsonian Science Education Center. Check it out!

SSEC Director, Carol O'Donnell, Discusses the Importance of Education in the Highlight Video from the Fourth Annual Global Talent Summit in Zurich

January 22, 2017

How can we prepare for a post-employment society? Dr. Carol O'Donnell, Director of the Smithsonian Science Education Center, reminds listeners during the Global Talent Summit 2017 that in addition to the technological, economic, socio-economic, and political dimensions of a Post Employment World, the voice of the "educator" must be heard when discussing the issue of filling the skills gap by 2050. What can we, as educators, do to ensure our students are 21st Century ready?

STEMx Writes About the SSEC: "Smithsonian Center Puts Experiential Learning to the Test"

January 13, 2017

At STEMxchange 2016 in Dallas, Dr. Carol O’Donnell, Director of the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC), briefed attendees on a five-year validation study conducted by the University of Memphis Center for Research on Educational Policy (CREP). O'Donnell told STEMx attendees that the idea of experiential learning isn’t as novel today as it was when SSEC was founded, as more and more states adopt this form of STEM teaching in their K-8 classrooms. In this article, STEMx authors summarize O’Donnell's STEMx talk, which explained the impacts of LASER's experiential learning on both students and teachers, leading to better learning outcomes, especially for students who are typically underserved in STEM. As STEMx notes, "That’s a huge contribution to the education field."

Smithsonian Science Education Center Curriculum Highlighted in Book

January 9, 2017

The SSEC's curriculum, Science and Technology for Children (STC), is highlighted throughout the book, "Teaching Science in Elementary and Middle School: A Project-based Approach" by Joe Krajcik and charlene Czerniak (Routledge, 2014). This book offers in-depth information about the fundamental features of project-based science and strategies for implementing the approach. In project-based science classrooms students investigate, use technology, develop artifacts, collaborate, and make products to show what they have learned. Paralleling what scientists do, project-based science represents the essence of inquiry and the nature of science. Project-based science embodies the principles in A Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards. Blending principles of learning and motivation with practical teaching ideas, this text shows how project-based learning is related to ideas in the Framework and provides concrete strategies for meeting its goals.

Secretary Skorton References the Smithsonian Science Education Center in the "Torch"

January 5, 2017

The Smithsonian is the "world's largest museum, education, and research complex." In this month's "Smithsonian Torch", the Secretary of the Smithsonian, Dr. David Skorton, reflects on his goal to increase research in the arts, humanities and sciences; expand outreach; and share resources. In his words, "The Smithsonian Science Education Center is just one of several recent initiatives that has inspired our new description, “the world’s largest museum, education and research complex.” As the Smithsonian has grown, so has our responsibility to share everything we do; throughout the Institution, educators are working with curators, scientists, and others to reach and teach people, within and beyond our walls.

SSEC Advisory Board Member Dr. Terry Bergeson Highlighted on DCHAT Podcast

January 4, 2017

This podcast highlights SSEC National Advisory Board Member, Dr. Terry Bergeson, who discusses the importance of education. Dr. Bergeson, former State Superintendent of Washington, is the Interim Dean of Education and Kinesiology at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington.

Science Conference Breaks New Ground

December 21, 2016

More than 300 educators from across Central New York converged on Nov. 8 for a "Lesson Study Elementary Science Conference"--perhaps the first of its kind in the US--that offered four “live” research lessons based on SSEC units in which students and teachers engaged in practices aligned with New York's State new science standards while participants observed and took notes. The conference,  which is intended to help educators visualize New York State's newly proposed science standards in action, marked a unique collaboration between the Onondaga-Cortland-Madison Board of Cooperative Educational Services (OCM BOCES), the Syracuse University School of Education, and the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC). 

Smithsonian Science Education Center, a 100kin10 Grantee, Participates in New York Conference to Help Teachers Prepare for New Science Standards

December 19, 2016

Over 300 educators attended a conference in NY which included live classroom demonstrations of lessons from the SSEC's new "Smithsonian Science in the Classroom" curriculum using a professional development technique called "lesson study," popular in Japan. The conference was organized by OCM BOCES, along with Syracuse University, two field partners collaborating with the Smithsonian Science Education Center on a $200,000 grant from 100kin10 to help school districts implement the new standards. Seventy teachers will participate in grant-supported work over two years. In the first year, they will teach lessons based on materials developed by the Smithsonian. In year two, teachers will receive two days of professional development related to lesson study and be asked to engage in one research cycle related to supporting early elementary students engaging in engineering practices.

Colorado STEM Initiative Names Smithsonian Science Education Center as Partner

The Smithsonian Science Education Center and the LASER model is named as a Colorado STEM Partner–organizations partner with The Colorado Education Initiative (CEI) to execute the work outlined in the Colorado STEM Education Roadmap.

Smithsonian Science Education Center Receives Sub-Award to Provide Professional Development to Science Teachers of English Learners in Denver and Aurora Under New US Department of Education Grant

December 15, 2016

The University of Memphis has received a $1.5 million U.S. Department of Education National Professional Development grant from the Office of English Language Acquisition. The five-year grant was awarded to the Center for Research in Educational Policy (CREP) for “LASER Focused: A Model for Teaching Inquiry-Based Science to English Learners” and is based on the Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform (LASER) model developed by the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC). The SSEC is a sub-awardee on the grant and will develop the new science education materials for teachers of English Learners, then train facilitators to provide professional development to 225 teachers in Denver and Aurora.

Smithsonian Science Education Center Serves as Critical Friend at Teach to Lead's "Inclusion, Equity and Opportunity Summit"

December 5, 2016

Teach to Lead held its 11th teacher leadership summit in Chicago December 2-4th, 2016 to rave reviews. Focusing on Inclusion, Equity and Opportunity, 28 teams from 18 states and Pakistan joined to incubate their ideas for combating inequities and fighting for social justice on behalf of students. Ideas ranged from unique challenges and barriers based on race/ethnicity, national origin, socioeconomic status, disability, sexual identity, gender, or religion and addressed multiple issues, including increasing teacher diversity.

Image of participants at Teach to Lead's 11th teacher leadership summit.

The White House Fact Sheet: The Obama Administration Announces New Steps to Advance Soil Sustainability

December 5, 2016

The Smithsonian Science Education Center will develop new educational materials on preventing soil erosion for its new comprehensive Elementary curriculum called “Smithsonian Science for the Classroom”, which was highlighted by the White House, who announced new steps to advance soil sustainability. The SSEC currently distributes its existing curriculum to 6.5 million students in 1,454 school districts in all 50 states.

Good Thinking! Highlighted in "How We Learn: A Reading List"

December 5, 2016

The Smithsonian Science Education Center's Good Thinking! video, "Sending Learning Styles Out of Style" was highlighted as a good resource for understanding how students learn.

Two Companies Team Up with the Smithsonian Science Education Center to Build the Workforce of Tomorrow

November 30, 2016

Dow and CH2M identified teachers from strategic locations across the US (e.g. California, Louisiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Texas) to attend the Smithsonian Science Education Academies for Teachers (SSEATs), week-long academies designed to heighten STEM teachers’ ability to inspire and enlighten their students. The teachers then took their experiences back to their classrooms. They continued their professional growth through peer networking, mentoring and interaction with Dow and CH2M employee volunteers.

Mrs. Lisa Musante Talks about her Role in the Smithsonian Science Education Center's Colorado LASER Initiative

November 22, 2016

Fort Collins, CO teacher, Lisa Musante, who was originally trained in aeronautics, is now in her fifth year as the Science & Engineering Interventionist at Tavelli Elementary in Fort Collins. In this post, Mrs. Musante discusses her role as Tavelli's Site Coordinator during the adoption of the Smithsonian Science Education Center's Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform (LASER) program in Colorado

Website Designed to Help Teach Scientific Thinking Highlights the Smithsonian Science Education Center's Good Thinking

November 22, 2016

The "Kata to Grow" website provides users with materials and instructions for introducing a pattern of practical scientific thinking in the classroom, through a 50-minute, hands-on exercise called Kata in the Classroom. Kata recently highlighted the Smithsonian Science Education Center's Good Thinking! video, "That's so Meta(cognitive)." 

 

NIH's National Institute for Biomedical Imaging and Biomedical Engineering (NIBIB) Highlights the SSEC as a Resource for Teacher

November 20, 2016

NIBIB's science education page, which recently highlighted the Smithsonian Science Education Center, is meant to be a resource for students, parents, teachers, and anyone interested in biomedical imaging and bioengineering. On the site, you’ll find answers to commonly asked questions about medical imaging and bioengineering technologies and learn about NIBIB-funded research. You’ll also find links to websites, organizations, and events that promote science education and encourage scientific discovery.

Smithsonian Office of Fellowships and Internships Highlights SSEC Intern

November 20, 2016

The Smithsonian Office of Fellowships and Internships highlighted Anusha Holavanahali, a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, who spent her summer developing curriculum at the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC). She used roly polys to help students learn about what animals need to survive, and how to best protect animals in case of habitat changes. 

The Smithsonian Science Education Center Invited to the 2017 Global Talent Summit in Zurich

November 20, 2016

As Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, and robotic technology advance, highly skilled jobs demanding high wages will be eliminated. As educators, how can we prepare our students for a post-employment society? Dr. Carol O'Donnell, Director of the Smithsonian Science Education Center, has been invited as a panelist to address these questions and more on the panel, "How Education Can Prepare You for the Future of Work." The Global Talent Summit 2017 will take place in Zurich, Switzerland January 14, 2017 and will be streamed live around the world.

The New York Family Interviews the Smithsonian Science Education Center to Highlight Education Trends in STEM

November 12, 2016

Eric Nastasi, Division Director of Advancement, and other STEM experts, were interviewed by the New York Family, a monthly family lifestyle magazine focused on the interests, needs, and concerns of New York City parents. Eric discussed what STEM looks like in the classroom and why it’s a vital part of modern-day learning. In particular, Eric shared with readers information about the Smithsonian Science Education Center's STEM-based curriculum, which is used in schools across the country, and locally at the Alexander Robertson School.

Dr. Marjee Chmiel Keynotes Texas Science Education Leadership Association Fall Meeting

November 9, 2016

Dr. Marjee Chmiel, Division Director for Curriculum & Communications of the Smithsonian Science Education Center, served as the Keynote Speaker for the Texas Science Education Leadership Association (TSELA) Fall Meeting in San Antonio, Texas on November 9, 2019. There, she spoke on the importance of knowing + doing for STEM education, and connected the Smithsonian Science Education Center’s approach to transforming science education to data demonstrating its effectiveness.

Division Director Dr. Marjee Chmiel Completes Four-Week Trip to Southeast Asia under Fulbright

November 9, 2016

Division Director of Curriculum and Communications, Dr. Marjee Chmiel, completed a four-week trip to Southeast Asia where she spoke with Ministries of Education of Indonesia and Malaysia about the work in STEM education being spearheaded by Smithsonian Science Education Center. She served as a juror for the awards for best science teacher of Southeast Asia. She was the keynote speaker of the Mathematics, Science, and Computer Science Education International Seminiar in Bandung, Indonesia. While there, she also met with the Minister of Science Technology and Innovation of Malaysia and toured the Petronas Science Center in Kuala Lumpur.

Dunham School Consults with Smithsonian Science Education Center

November 9, 2016

Dr. Amy D'Amico, Division Director of Professional Services for the Smithsonian Science Education Center in Washington, D.C., recently traveled to Baton Rouge for a consultation with The Dunham School Science Department and administrators. Dr. D’Amico spent three days observing in classrooms, meeting with faculty and administration, touring facilities and planning with school leaders regarding the school’s strategic plan for the future of its STEM and Innovation Program.

Innovative Science Conference Offers 'Live' Research Lessons on New State Standards

November 8, 2016

More than 300 educators from across Central New York converged on Roxboro Road Middle School in Mattydale on November 8, 2016 for a science conference that offers four “live” research lessons in which students and teachers engaged in practices aligned with the new state science standards. This sold out conference was co-hosted by the Onondaga-Cortland-Madison Board of Cooperative Educational Services (OCM BOCES), the Syracuse University School of Education, the Smithsonian Science Education Center, and several local teacher centers.

Obtaining Federal Resources for P-12 Educators

November 7, 2016

MSPnet held a webinar on Tuesday, November 1, 2016 at 8:00 pm Eastern Time promoting the availability of Federal resources for P-12 Educators.  The webinar, which was organized by the Committee on STEM Education (CoSTEM), highlighted the work of the US Department of Energy, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, the Smithsonian Science Education Center, and MSPnet. This live broadcast discussed federal funding sources for P-12 educators, professional development opportunities, and detail other tools and resources available for use in the classroom.

The Smithsonian Science Education Center Participates in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy's Active Learning Day Highlighted by 100kin10

November 7, 2016

The national organization 100kin10 designed an online resource that outlines a series of activities that teachers could integrate into their classrooms during the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s Active Learning Day on October 25th, 2016 – and, of course, beyond! These brief activities, curated from and by 100Kin10 partners, leading organizations in STEM teaching, are divided by grade level and subject area and designed to facilitate "Active Learning" experiences for teachers and their students.

Museum of Science, Boston President and Director Ioannis Miaoulis Meets with Smithsonian Educators

November 7, 2016

In October 2015, Museum President and Director Ioannis Miaoulis met with U.S. Senator Edward Markey, U.S. Representative Paul Tonko, and key congressional education committee staff. He also met with the Greek Ambassador to the U.S., Christos P. Panagopoulos, and important contacts at the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Education, the Smithsonian Science Education Center, and the Embassy of the Czech Republic. In every case, Miaoulis discussed the importance of STEM (science, education, engineering, and technology) education, our efforts to introduce K-12 and informal engineering and computer science education, and how we might best collaborate going forward. As a follow-up to this visit, the Smithsonian Science Education Center and The Museum of Science, Boston officially signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in October 2016 to work together to advance engineering education in schools and informal learning environments.

The Smithsonian Science Education Center Presents at the South Carolina Science Council Annual Conference November 2, 2016

November 2, 2016

On November 2, 2016, the Smithsonian Science Education Center, sponsored by Carolina Biological, shared strategies and insights on creating, collaborating, communicating, designing and innovating from kindergarten on up at the South Carolina Science Council Annual Conference, held at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. Participants previewed the Smithsonian Science Education Center's new engineering modules for grades 1 through 5.

Smithsonian Science Education Center Visits JCI and Johnston County Schools

November 1, 2016

The Smithsonian Science Education Center National Advisory Board toured Johnston County Industries (JCI) materials center in Selma, NC. Bill Sharek, President & CEO of JCI, welcomed the group to the Center, provided an overview of JCI’s mission, goals and operations, and lead the group on a tour of the facilities to help the board members understand how Johnston County Industries (JCI) and Johnston County Schools are successfully working together to provide the teachers and students in Johnston County with effective, stream-lined science education procedures and tools.

Innovating in i3: Why Innovation is Important in Schools

October 2016

The Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) Program Specialist Katie Gainsback attended an i3 Project Directors Meeting with the U.S. Department of Education where she was asked to sit down for an on-camera interview about the SSEC’s ED-funded work. Sound bites from that interview along with other i3 projects were edited into a video answering the question “Why is innovation so important in schools?”

 

The Smithsonian Science Education Center Teams up with Smithsonian Affiliations

October 30, 2016

The Smithsonian Science Education Center partnered with two of the Smithsonian Affiliates in October 2016. In North Carolina, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences hosted the Smithsonian Science Education Center's National Advisory Board Meeting and associated activities in Raleigh on October 17th, 2016.  In Colorado, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and the Smithsonian Science Education Center collaborated on workshops on Building Awareness for Science Education in Denver, October 24th-25th, 2016.

Katherine Blanchard of the Smithsonian Science Education Center Serves on Panel at International Conference

October 28, 2016

Katherine Blanchard, Program Specialist for the Smithsonian Science Education Center's Professional Services Division, traveled to Mexico City, Mexico from October 25-28 to attend the 2016 CLASE conference sponsored by IFIE - Instituto de Fomento e Investigación Educativa (Institute for Educational Research and Development). There she sat on a panel entitled “Learning by Doing” with panelists from Australia and Mexico to discuss the power of STEM education and inquiry-based education. You can learn more about the conference and watch the webcast here.

Pennsylvania Science Matters e-Blast Highlights the Smithsonian Science Education Center

October 26, 2016

The Pennsylvania Science Matters e-Blast October 2016 issue highlights two resources related to the Smithsonian Science Education Center. Cheryl Rush Dix will present at the Pennsylvania Science Teachers Association (PSTA) Conference November 30 - December 2, 2016 and will discuss the implementation of a K-12 science program based upon the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for the Erie School District. Cheryl will share lessons learned in developing the curriculum, professional development, and implementation of the new curriculum based on the Smithsonian Science Education Center's Theory of Action. Also referenced in the e-Blast is the November 1, 2016 webinar co-hosted by the Smithsonian Science Education Center, the Department of Energy, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which provided resources, tools, classroom materials, and PD opportunities for P-12 science educators. You can read the e-Blast here

The Chevron Enjoy Science Project Highlights the Contributions of the Smithsonian Science Education Center's Curriculum and LASER Project to its STEM Reform in Thailand

October 25, 2016

Chevron’s Enjoy Science Project is a US $30 million, 5-year, public private partnership to strengthen Thailand’s competitiveness and innovation by improving science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education and technical vocational education and training (TVET) across the country. This Chevron project has integrated the Smithsonian's Science and Technology for Children (STC) curriculum with practical trainings to continuously increase the competency of teachers as well as to enhance their preparation and ability to lead inquiry-based learning activities. The goal is to will help students to think like scientists and put them on a pathway to successful STEM careers. These students will become the driving force behind the achievement of Thailand 4.0. To read more about how the LASER project served as the foundation of the Chevron Enjoy Science Project, go to: The Chevron Enjoy Science Newsletter - Issue No. 8.

Building Awareness for STEM Education (BASE) Program: A Collaboration between DMNS and the Smithsonian Education Center

October 25, 2016 

On October 25, 2016, the Smithsonian Science Education Center in collaboration with the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Colorado STEM, and the Colorado Education Initiative hosted a one-day program to Build Awareness for STEM Education (BASE) and to discuss the work currently taking place to scale up the Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform (LASER) model in Colorado. Click here to learn more about the Smithsonian Science Education Center's leadership development opportunities and BASE events. 

US Department of Energy Fermilab Provides NGSS Resources

Check out the US Department of Energy's Fermilab Resources for NGSS and STEM Fact Sheet. To learn more about Fermilab's institutes, look at this poster titled "Implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards - Science and Engineering Practices", presented at Smithsonian Science Education Center, 2015 Regional Leaders Meeting. 

SSEC Presents at Massachusetts Science Education Leadership Association

October 20, 2016 

Dr. Brian Mandell, Curriculum Developer for the Smithsonian Science Education Center, presented at the Annual Conference of the Massachusetts Science Education Leadership Association (MSELA) October 20, 2016. During his presentation, Dr. Mandell discussed the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and what the Smithsonian Science Education Center is doing to address these standards; provided examples of phenomenon and problems through an engineering design mini-challenge; summarized the results of the Smithsonian Science Education Center's five-year Investing in Innovation (i3) Validation study of its Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform (LASER) model; and shared next steps with the Smithsonian Science Education Center’s new grade 1-5 learning framework. Click here to learn more about the conference.

100kin10 Engages SSEC in Networked Impact

October 11, 2016

The Stanford Social Innovation Review published a piece about 100Kin10 and their networked impact approach to collaboration and tackling challenges in the effort to train and retain 100,000 excellent STEM teachers. The Smithsonian Science Education Center is a recent recipient of a 100kin10 grant to support this effort. 

STEMx Reports on its Involvement in the Next Step Institute

October 7, 2016

STEMx was eager to tell its members about the success of the Next Steps Institute, co-organized by the Smithsonian Science Education Center, South Carolina Coalition for Mathematics and Science, and the South Carolina Afterschool Alliance, held in Charleston, SC on September 26-28th. This conference featured no less than five different STEMx members in the SSEC-lead "State Leaders in STEM” pathway. According to STEMx, "This conference changed minds."

Five BISD teachers to be a part of Dow Chemical-CH2M’s Smithsonian Teacher Scholar Program

September 21, 2016

Five BISD teachers were chosen from across the country to be a part of Dow Chemical-CH2M’s Smithsonian Teacher Scholar Program this summer

Colleague of the Smithsonian Science Education Center, Dr. Lisa Kenyon, Discusses Her Role in STEM Education

September 1, 2016

Dr. Lisa Kenyon, who has participated in workshops at the Smithsonian Science Education Center, where she addressed teachers and administrators from across the country, discusses her role in STEM education. Dr. Kenyon is the Robert J. Kegerreis Distinguished Professor of Teaching at Wright State University.

Smithsonian Science Education Center and InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) Collaborate on Project Focused on "Communicating Risk"

August 30, 2016

Every day, people are making decisions that may impact their future. Decisions presumably based on an evaluation of the risks of choosing or b over c. Governments and NGO's, too, must weigh alternative scenarios, account for the risk involved in each one, and arrive at the best option to feed into policy. However, the concept of ‘risk’ is not one that is easily communicated to youth, the public, or to governments.  To address this issue, the IAP Science Education Programme (SEP) was invited by the National Science Museum of Thailand to participate in a special panel session on ‘Risk Communication on Public Issue: Mosquito-borne diseases – a case study’, held during Thailand’s National Science and Technology Fair on 25 August 2016. As a result of that meeting, a project being developed by the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) Science Education Programme (SEP) is to design school curricula for primary and secondary students (aged 8-17) and their teachers that will use inquiry-based science education (IBSE) methods to address the socio-scientific challenges and mitigation of mosquito-borne illnesses. This project is being led by Carol O’Donnell at the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) in Washington DC – an IAP SEP Global Council member.

SSEC Director, Carol O'Donnell, to Keynote New York's Center for Innovative Science Education Conference

July 16, 2016

The Onondaga-Cortland-Madison (OCM) BOCES Center for Innovative Science Education will host a conference this November 2016 to help launch the regional implementation of the New York State Science Learning Standards (NYSSLS), which were put before the New York State Board of Regents in mid-June. 

34 Teachers Will Attend Smithsonian STEM Academies This Summer

June 23, 2016

The Dow-CH2M Smithsonian Teacher Scholar Program, designed to help teachers develop skills in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, will bring 34 teachers from five states to Washington, D.C., this summer to participate in professional development academies at the Smithsonian.

Dow, CH2M and Smithsonian Partner to Empower STEM Educators - from Dow.com

June 22, 2016 

Teachers from five states will travel to Washington, D.C. to begin a year-long professional development opportunity

Read more at http://www.dow.com/news/press-releases/dow%20ch2m%20and%20sm...

100Kin10 Webinar

June 20, 2016

Dr Carol O'Donnell, Director of the Smithsonian Science Education Center, and Dr. Amy D'Amico, Division Director of Professional Services, were hosts on the 100Kin10 Spotlight Series webinar sharing the reults of the i3 Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform (LASER) study in your work. Click here to access the deck from the webinar as well as a recording.

The Smithsonian Shares Trends in STEM Education with Washington State Educators

June 17, 2016

Dr. Carol O'Donnell, Director of the Smithsonian Science Education Center discusses the latest national trends in STEM Education with Washington State educators in a series of three-hour workshops hosted throughout Washington State. Topics included the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS); moving ahead with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA); the latest research on the efficacy of the Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform (LASER); and, the expansion of the Smithsonian’s Science and Technology Concepts (STC) K-8 materials.

Smithsonian Science Education Center and Enterprises in Space team up for Space Day at the National Air and Space Museum

June 10, 2016

Invited to be among the many firsts of historical space achievements celebrated at Space Day, the Enterprises in Space team (EIS) was thrilled to participate in collaboration with the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) at this year's Space Day, held June 14, 2016 at the National Air and Space Museum to promote their focus on the importance of integrating science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM). This year’s event drew some 30,000 visitors from around the world and included a presentation by astronaut Terry Virts.

Announcing a Free Teacher Leadership Summit in Annapolis, July 19-20!

We are pleased that the Maryland State Department of Education, in partnership with Teach to Lead will host its first Teacher Leadership Summit in Annapolis on July 19-20, 2016.

New international partnership to promote Einstein, STEM education

May 18, 2016 

The Smithsonian Science Education Center is teaming up with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where the physicist's archives are kept, to promote the study of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (collectively known as "STEM").

Smithsonian Science Education Center and National Space Society Team Up for Next-Generation Space Education Program “Enterprise In Space”

May 11, 2016

Enterprise In Space (EIS), an international program of the National Space Society (NSS), is excited to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC), the only unit at the Smithsonian Institution that is solely dedicated to formal K-12 science education reform.

ASCD Teacher Impact Grant Application Opens 5/16

May 2016

ASCD Teacher Impact Grants (TIGs) provide funding and support directly to teachers for promising teacher-led, administrator-supported ideas, programs, or initiatives to improve education. These grants allow teachers to develop and execute projects that can serve as models to be replicated and scaled.

The program provides the flexibility, funding, and evaluation support necessary to meet the unique needs of promising teacher-led projects. The grants cultivate the expertise of teachers and help to position them as leaders driving transformation in schools, districts, and states.

Read more at http://www.ascd.org/programs/teacher-impact-grants.aspx

Where Has All the TV Science Gone?

May 4, 2016

This article highlights the Smithsonian Science Education Center's YouTube Channel as a great science education resource. 

Read more at http://machinedesign.com/blog/where-has-all-tv-science-gone

Education gets smart over the use of smartphones in learning

April 28, 2016

Science education gets smart over the use of smartphones in learning, both for teachers and students. From making a call to a portable camera and an endless stream of entertainment, the smartphone is an integral part of modern life. In her talk at a 2016 Abu Dhabi Education Council event, Carol O'Donnell, Director of the Smithsonian Science Education Center, talks about the role of the phone as a tool for data collection in science classrooms.

 

STEM Programs in Northern Virginia and Beyond: The 2016 K-12 STEM Symposium

April 6, 2016

Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) Board Member and female engineer Simone Acha, along with SSEC Director, Carol O'Donnell, worked with hundreds of students to design, build, and test the motion of model cars using an activity from the STC unit, Motion and Design, during a one-day STEM Symposium sponsored by WashingtonExec in Fairfax, VA.

Conference Will Bring Together International Experts

March 28, 2016

Dr. Jorge Allende, Professor on the Faculty of Medicine and National Natural Sciences since 1992, discusses the 40 some international experts in science education, including Dr. Carol O'Donnell and Dr. Amy D'Amico of the Smithsonian Science Education Center, who will present at an international conference on science education to be held at the University of Chile in Santiago.

Round table discussion with Dr. Amy D'Amico

 

Presentation with Dr. Carol O'Donnell

The Key Role of Educational Leadership in the Changing STEM Landscape

March 22, 2016

In this NSTA webinar we will share results from a recent 5-year rigorous i3 study of our Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform model and discuss the role of the instructional leader in the changing STEM landscape.

Smithsonian science study promises long-lasting benefits for HISD students

March 2016

HISD just completed a five-year study with the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC), and the lessons learned from it will be benefitting HISD students for years to come.

For women in tech, it's been a so-so year

March 8, 2016

SSEC is highlighted for our participation in 100Kin10 -- a coalition of universities, nonprofits and government agencies that aims to train and keep 100,000 new STEM teachers by 2021.

Smithsonian Science Education Center Named as Partner in 100Kin10, National Network to Grow STEM Teaching Force

March 2016

100Kin10, a national network coordinating and accelerating efforts to bring 100,000 excellent science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teachers into schools by 2021, announced today that the Smithsonian Science Education Center has been accepted as a partner.

#2050 Jobs: Future Challenges

February 29, 2016

SSEC is highlighted as an organization that recognizes the important role that K-12 plays in developing global STEM talent. 

Read more at http://bit.ly/1RTEqoB

Global Talent Summit: The Nexus of Jobs and Education

February 20, 2016

Four College of William & Mary students discuss what the world might look like in 2050, and what skills we will all need to develop, after attending the Diplomatic Courier‘s third annual Global Talent Summit in Washington, DC. SSEC is highlighted as contributing to the four critical trends that emerged during the Summit: the importance of skill development, changes to school curricula, the need to bridge the gap between enterprise and academia, and fostering a global perspective.

Science Education Global Council & STEM

February 1, 2016

Dr. Carol O'Donnell, Director of the Smithsonian Science Education Center, discusses the role of K-12 science education in preparing students for a competitive global STEM workforce.

Read more at http://bit.ly/22oR1Ll

Dr. Carol O'Donnell discusses changing science standards on CBSMinnesota.com

December 13, 2015

Dr. Carol O'Donnell discusses changing science standards during News and Views with Roshini, on News Radio 830 WCCO - CBSMinnesota.com.

SSEC Advisory Board Member Carol Feinberg Supports Young Professionals Interested in Health and Education

March 10, 2014

More than 40 young professionals from varied backgrounds and diverse careers attended a reception in Manhattan to learn more about the Touro College and University System (TCUS). The event was hosted by SSEC Board Member Carol Feinberg, who is committed to improving educational opportunities for youth. Touro offers professional and graduate programs in fields that include education, law, medicine, pharmacy, social work and business and is one of the largest health care educational systems in the nation.