January & February in Review

Colgate University visits the Smithsonian: On January 17th 30 undergraduate students traveled to the Smithsonian with their professor Dr. Karen Harpp of the Earth & Environmental Geosciences Department of Colgate University. The students spent the morning at the Smithsonian Science Education Center discussing climate education. Dr. Carol O'Donnell presented to students after presentations by Pierre Comizzolli and Ashley Naranjo. Andre Radloff, Jackie Kolb, Heidi Gibson and Brian Mandell conducted three hands-on activities from Climate Action, including activities that built students’ understanding of “Collaboration for Action” and “Systemic v. Incremental Change.”

A clear pictures of a large, ornate college campus building

A Surprise Win: Director of the Smithsonian Science Education Center, Dr. Carol O’Donnell, visited the DC International School on February 1 st to join WUSA9 in congratulating the latest winner of the WUSA9 Eco Challenge, Monique Henderson. The surprise award was given as a shocked Ms. Henderson returned to her classroom after being briefly pulled away by school administrators. Ms. Henderson and her students will use their $5,000 award to develop sustainable alternatives to address the school lunch waste being generated from the cardboard disposable lunch trays. To watch Ms Henderson’s class receive their award, go to: https://www.wusa9.com/video/news/education/dc-international-school-eco-challenge winner/65-c5ccf252- 606f-46a3-bff1-75bb953f0978

Dr. Carol O’Donnell standing with the winning teacher of the Eco Challenge.

2024 Diversity in STEM Education Summit: The Smithsonian Science Education Center’s Professional Services team, in collaboration with Howard University, held its eighth annual Diversity in STEM Education Summit between Friday, February 23 and Sunday, February 25. The experience included a series of informational webinars between Thursday, February 1 and Thursday, February 15 to aid attendees in preparing for the in-person conference supported by Shell USA, Inc.
Dr. Carol O’Donnell stands with Under Secretary Monique Chism and other attendees of the Diversity in STEM Education Summit

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About the Author

Johnny McInerney
Executive Assistant



Johnny McInerney is the Executive Office Manager for the Smithsonian Science Education Center. Johnny was born and raised in Golden, Colorado – right where Denver hits the Rockies. He attended the University of Colorado at Boulder (sko’ Buffs!) graduating Summa Cum Laude in Political Science with a minor in Sociology. In 2018, he jumped onto the re-election campaign on Congressman Ed Perlmutter of Colorado’s 7th Congressional District, and after a successful campaign was fortunate to have Rep. Perlmutter offer him the Staff Assistant position in his legislative office on Capitol Hill here in Washington, DC. After two and a half years Johnny transitioned roles to become the Scheduler for Congressman Donald Norcross of Southern New Jersey. While on the Hill, Johnny was elected to a board membership of the LGBT Congressional Staff Association as the 2021 Director of Community Service and Engagement. After he departed the Hill, Johnny worked for a think tank downtown for just under a year before he found himself lucky enough to take this incredible opportunity with the Smithsonian. 

Johnny is passionate about a lot of things: food, film, roller coasters, oil painting, video games, pets, and people…just to name a few!