March in Review

Info STEM "La Educación STEM"

Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) Direcor, Carol O’Donnell, is featured in an informational video on STEM Education.


American University in Beirut & Smithsonian Science Education Center

On March 22nd SSEC’s Dr. Carol O’Donnell, Heidi Gibson, and Katherine Blanchard participated in an education forum hosted by the American University Beirut. The program entitled “Sustainability, Education, and Local Action: Exploring How Smithsonian Science for Global Goals Engages Youth as Local Partners to Achieve the SDGs” featured collaborating organizations XSTEM (Argentina and Uruguay), CISTEM (Philippines), and students from the university who have implemented the Smithsonian Science for Global Goals project’s guide Sustainable Communities! How can we help our community thrive?. Each of these groups have collected robust data related to their implementation and were able to share about their experiences with 52 participants. The session concluded with a conversation about the challenges and opportunities related to scaling this kind of implementation to a national level.


Virtual Career Days

In the month of March, O’Donnell presented at a virtual Career Day through edutainment learning. This event is free and available for students around the world. O’Donnell spoke to the students about her career and gave advice to the students interested in pursuing a career in science education. 166 students from middle school to high school tuned into this event.

Additionally, O’Donnell presented to high school juniors enrolled in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program at West Morris Central High School in New Jersey. The class was tasked with reaching out to a non-profit that they felt passionate about and chose SSEC. O’Donnell spoke to students about her career in STEM education, how SSEC is impacting the community, opportunities for internships at SSEC, and what students can do to jump start their STEM career.


Cosmos Club Education Group

O’Donnell presented to members of the Cosmos Club Education Group on “Taking an Integrated Approach to Ensuring Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion (DEAI) in K-12 Education.” O’Donnell’s presentation highlighted the importance of taking an integrated approach to diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion (DEAI) in K-12 education. She discussed the Smithsonian’s initiative “Our Shared Future Program: Reckoning with our Racial Past” and addressed what the field means by “culturally-based” and “gender-based” pedagogy. Best practices and strategies from SSEC’s NSF project on diversifying the K-12 teaching workforce were also shared, as well as strategies for promoting accessible and inclusive classrooms for students with disabilities. The Cosmos Club is a 501(c)(3) private social club in Washington, DC for those interested in science. 


Celebrating Women's History Month

O’Donnell attended a salon dinner at the National Press Club to honor International Women’s Day & of Women’s History Month. The dinner honored women leaders from policy, business, and diplomacy. The guest of honor is long-time advisory board member of Diplomatic Courier, Ambassador Lisa Gable. Ambassador Gable was recently named Wall Street Journal and USA Today Best-Selling Author for her new book “Turnaround: How to Change Course When Things Are Going South.” O’Donnell was invited by SSEC Board Member and Founder of the Diplomatic Courier, Ana Rold.


Image courtesy SSEC Board Member, Ana Rold

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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.