July & August In Review

Integrating Climate Literacy into Your Classroom – On July 19, 2023, the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) co-hosted two in-person sessions at AIB for th 2023 Smithsonian National Educational Summit under the “Life on a Sustainable Planet” conference stand. To begin, Dr. Carol O’Donnell moderated a Deep Dive panel focused on Addressing Climate Literacy in L-12 Schools, featuring panelists Dr. Carla Easter (NMNH), Fank Niepold (NOAA), and Maya Garcia (Beyond100k), This was followed by a workshop organized by Katherine Blanchard (SSEC) Jennifer Collins (NMNH) and Haley Crimm (NOAA). This interactive session “Integrating Climate Literacy into Your Classroom” saw 35 in-person attendees discussing, brainstorming, and learning about climate literacy and personal and collective action. Ultimately, participants’ feedback will be integrated into revisions for the inter-agency Climate Literacy Principles and Climate Literacy Guide, which will be released by NOAA under the U.S. Global Climate Change Research Program (USGCRP), of which Dr. Kirk Johnson is the Smithsonian Principal, in December 2023.

Dr. Carol O’Donnell addresses attendees of the Smithsonian National Education Summit

Serving K-12 Schools: Director of the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC)

Dr. Carol O’Donnell delivered a keynote address to Pittsburgh Public School teachers at Allegheny Tradition Academy in Pittsburgh, PA. The speech addressed integrating equity and inclusion in K-12 STEM phenomenon- and problem-driven 3-Dimensional learning programs aligned with the newly adopted Pennsylvania State Science Standards, called STEELS (Science, Technology, Engineering, Environmental Literacy, and Sustainability). She used environmental science exemplars from the Smithsonian Science for the Classroom K-5 and Smithsonian Science and Technology Concepts for Middle Schools curriculum. There were 147 K-12 teachers present.

Dr. Carol O’Donnell addresses teachers on a stage behind a podium with the U.S. Flag hung behind her.

Serving K-12 Schools: Director of the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) Dr. Carol O’Donnell led an instructional seminar with teachers from the Male Life STEAM Academy in Pittsburgh, PA. The training also focused on the STEELS Pennsylvania State Science Standards and was given to approximately 40 STEAM Educators.

Young students at the Male Life STEAM Academy smile for a picture while they work around a table

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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!