February in Review


On February 3rd, the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) held a Brownbag inviting educators from across the Smithsonian. The SSEC’s INCLUDES project team, Dr. Carol O’Donnell, Dr. Amy D’Amico, Dr. Hyunju Lee, Sherrell Lewis and Nejra Malanovic, presented the general overview and findings of the project, "Building Networks and Enhancing Diversity in the K–12 STEM Teaching Workforce," which was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF)’s Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (INCLUDES) Planning Grant, jointly funded by the NSF Discovery Research PreK-12 (DRK-12). The Under Secretary for Education, Dr. Monique Chism, gave opening remarks. Over 43 Smithsonian educators attended the event.



Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching

O’Donnell and D’Amico were invited by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to lead a 2-hour virtual workshop for the 2021 winners of the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). Awardees from all 50 states and territories, along with a state education agency administrator, examined data on the diversity of the student and teaching population; grappled with problems of practice related to STEM equity; and with the guidance of Kim Robles-Diga, Deputy Director of Education from Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt Design Museum, wrote “How Might We?” statements to guide their actions to advance STEM equity in their states.  Later in the afternoon, as part of the Federal Resources Expo portion of the program, Laurie Rosatone, SSEC Division Director of Curriculum, Digital Media and Communications and Logan Schmidt, SSEC Senior Science Curriculum Developer were also invited by OSTP, along with the CDC and NASA, to present free federal resources related to STEM equity. As part of the Federal Resources Expo portion of the program, Rosatone and Schmidt co-presented the latest community research guide in the Smithsonian Science for Global Goals program, Biodiversity! How can we balance the needs of people with the needs of other living things?  Schmidt led an interactive session demonstrating how the guide highlights diverse representation in science, honors and values multiple ways of knowing, promotes inclusive and accessible science and social science investigations, and fosters open-mindedness, equity, and justice through perspective-taking. Over 100 Presidential Awardees attended the Zoom awards ceremony, which was also broadcast live on YouTube, and currently has over 3,000 views.

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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.