Smithsonian Science Education Academies for Teachers
Since 2005, the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) has held summer academies, Smithsonian Science Education Academies for Teachers (SSEATs). The SSEAT Academies provide teachers with an opportunity to take part in a week-long professional development course behind-the-scenes at Smithsonian museums and other world class research facilities throughout the greater Washington, DC area. 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.
Recent topics of the SSEATs include Biodiversity, Energy’s Innovations and Implications, Earth’s History and Global Change, and Space Science. Each SSEAT academy engages 20-30 teachers from grades K–12 over a week. Each day, participants engage in carefully selected science experiences directly related to concepts addressed in the content and pedagogical training, and guided by scientists, curators, and educators from a variety of facilities including the Smithsonian. The goals and design of the academy align with the Smithsonian’s goals and the Smithsonian’s Strategic Plan for Science. The Smithsonian Institution strongly supports the initiative, which it sees as complementing its education outreach work of promoting and providing a framework for the participation of their staff in the professional development of teachers.
- Learn from distinguished guests such as world-renowned NASA scientific illustrator Sally Bensusen
- Participate in hands-on activities that translate directly into the classroom using a variety of resources, including Smithsonian Science for Global Goals curriculum
- Tour state of the art facilities such as the Harvard College observatory or get a behind-the-scenes look at Smithsonian museum
The Smithsonian Science Education Center is proud to offer Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for our Academies through Virginia Commonwealth University. The VCU Office of Continuing and Professional Education offers opportunities for personal and professional development as well as custom training solutions, logistical support and skills training in negotiation and mediation. Take the next step at: ocpe.vcu.edu.
* Not all academies are offered every year. Please see here to see which academies will be offered this year.
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