Smithsonian Science Education Academies for Teachers (SSEAT): Earth's History and Human Activity | St. Paul, MN

Smithsonian Science Education Academies for Teachers (SSEAT): Earth's History and Human Activity | St. Paul, MN

This 3-day teacher professional development opportunity was developed by the Smithsonian Science Education Center and the Bell Museum, a Smithsonian affiliate museum. This workshop will take place from July 23-25, 2024 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Learn about the Earth’s history, including topics such as plate tectonics, seismology, stratigraphy, paleobiology, human origins, natural hazards and global climate change. This workshop focuses on educating teachers (recommended for 4th through 8th grade) to improve their understanding of topics related to Earth’s history, and their comfort teaching them in the classroom. 

Participants will engage in inquiry-based, hands-on activities designed to increase adult knowledge and understanding. Participants will also network with experts in the field, get resources for their classrooms, and explore the Bell Museum, including its wildlife dioramas, Touch & See Lab, and exhibits that use data and images to reconstruct the story of Earth’s origins. The deadline to apply is Monday, June 3, 2024.

Questions? Contact Kat Fancher (

Academy Objectives

Teachers attending this Academy will:

  • Increase pedagogical content knowledge related to Earth's history with a focus on life in the Anthropocene.
  • Form rich connections through dialogue and shared experiences with a cadre of scientists and educators.
  • Engage in pedagogical techniques that facilitate a hands-on, inquiry-based, integrated approach to teaching.

Application and Fees

This program was made possible by the generous support of the Richard Lounsbery Foundation.

Science is for everyone, and all educators are encouraged to apply. Preference will be given to Minnesota teachers who can fully participate in the program and implement science in their classrooms. Travel costs to attend the program in St. Paul however, are not supported. Academy capacity is limited to 30 teachers. A wait list will be available in case of cancellations. 

Teachers selected to participate will receive:

  • Admission and parking at the Bell Museum
  • Daily lunch (Tuesday - Thursday)
  • Course materials and resources
  • A stipend for attending all three days
  • A certificate of participation
About SSEATs

The Smithsonian Science Education Academies for Teachers (SSEATs) provide teachers with an opportunity to take part in a professional development course behind-the-scenes at Smithsonian museums and other world class research facilities. The academies help to bridge the gap between the formal science education programs of the SSEC and the informal science education that exists throughout the Smithsonian, and combine training in science pedagogy with content presented by scientists and researchers who are experts in their fields.