April in Review

Qatar Ministry of Education 2021 Virtual Forum

On April 3rd, Smithsonian Science Education Center Director, Carol O’Donnell, presented at the Qatar Ministry of Education World Summit. 300 educators tuned in to see O’Donnell discuss how to integrate social and emotional learning, inquiry-based STEM education, and civic engagement using the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a curricular framework for helping young children ages 5-9 use the processes of science to positively impact their community. To demonstrate how to use STEM Education for Sustainable Development (STEM4SD), O’Donnell drew on SSEC’s Smithsonian Science for Global Goals project and research on how to inspire student action-taking


Council of State Science Supervisors Annual Conference

O’Donnell, along with SSEC’s Katherine Blanchard & Heidi Gibson, presented at the 2021 Council of State Science Supervisors Annual Conference on April 7th. During their presentation, titled “The Intersection of Science Education and Global Competence”, O’Donnell, Blanchard & Gibson sought to drive participants to reflect on the global challenges students face, analyze various global competence frameworks, and understand how to integrate global competence into the science classroom. They also encouraged State Education Agencies in attendance to consider how to support the school districts in their state as they integrate global competence into the science classroom. 60 members of the Council of State Science Supervisors participated. 


National Science Teachers Association Marketplace Partner Keynote

In collaboration with publisher Carolina Biological, O’Donnell gave a keynote at the National Science Teaching Association’s (NSTA) annual virtual conference. O’Donnell discussed how schools can support STEM students and teachers of diverse backgrounds through curricula, professional development (PD), and leadership development that take an integrated approach to diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion in K–12 STEM education. Participants learned about several free SSEC resources to integrate inclusive design into K–12 STEM curricula, apply PD strategies for teaching English learners and girls in STEM, and diversify the STEM teaching workforce.  50 participants viewed the presentation. 


US Embassy in Brazil STEM Education Program & Museum Event

On April 30th, after the signing of an MOU between the Smithsonian’s Office of International Relations and the Brazil Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation, Dr. Carol O’Donnell was invited to present at the US Embassy Brazil as part of their US Speaker Program for Brazil series. The US Speaker Program for Brazil series is designed to connect US experts with Brazilian audiences and institutions; to promote an understanding of US strategic priorities, policies, and institutions; and to build linkages between US and Brazilian experts and institutions. O’Donnell’s presentation focused on “From High-Touch to High-Tech: How the Smithsonian Promotes Digital Equity and Computational Thinking in STEM Education.”




Image courtesy Getty Images

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About the Author

Kate Echevarria
Human Resources Liaison



Kate Echevarria is the Human Resources Liaison for the Smithsonian Science Education Center. She is responsible for handling recruitment, internships, performance management, and all aspects of human resources at the Center. She was previously the Executive Office Manager at SSEC for 10 years. Prior to SSEC, Kate was in human resource management having worked for an international hotel chain, the U.S. Government, and a science non-profit.