November & December in Review

Advancing SDGs: The Role of Science

Within the framework of the World Science Day for Peace and Development, the United Nations (UN) Academic Impact (UNAI) held a global conversation on November 10th with scholars, educators, researchers, and students to discuss priorities for the future, obstacles to achieving them, and the role of global academic cooperation and the role of science in addressing global issues. The webinar examined the critical relevance of scientific knowledge and information, its connections with international diplomacy, and the need to foster a more robust global academic and scientific cooperation. Other panelists who joined Dr. Carol O'Donnell hailed from UNESCO, CERN, the International Science Council, NASA, the Max Planck Society, and the University of Bergen (Norway). A recording of the webinar can be viewed here. 81 Adults (mostly academics and international experts in the UN SDGs) attended this event.


Latin America STEM Network Meeting 2021: Forging Educational Innovation

O’Donnell - a National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) appointed member of the InterAcademy Partnership Science Education Programme (IAP SEP) Global Council - served as an invited panelist at the hybrid Latin America STEM Network Meeting November 9th – 11th in Bogotá, Colombia. The conference, titled “Forging Educational Innovation,” was an open virtual event aimed at promoting commitment across the regions to achieve common challenges related to science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) K-12 education. 250 science educators tuned into O’Donnell’s panel on “Cooperation and Networks in Latin America to Promote Educational Innovation in STEAM”.

South Carolina Science Education Leadership Association

On November 12th O’Donnell presented at the monthly South Carolina Science Education Leadership Association (SCSELA) meeting.  O’Donnell’s presentation was titled “How can you begin to prepare your teachers for the new South Carolina College and Career Ready Science Standards (SC-CCRS)?” Using the Smithsonian Science for the Classroom Kindergarten module “How Can We Be Ready for the Weather?” 44 attendees experienced phenomenon and problem-driven learning that promotes student sensemaking; engaging in three-dimensional (3-D) teaching and learning in action with specific disciplinary core ideas (DCIs), science and engineering practices (SEPs), and crosscutting concepts (CCCs); and analyze examples of integrated 3-D formative and summative assessments of the standards. A video of the talk can be found here.


Philippine Department of Science and Technology - Science Education Institute International Conference

On November 18th O’Donnell was a plenary speaker at the 2nd Philippine Department of Science and Technology - Science Education Institute International Conference: “Innovations, Challenges and Transformations in STEM Education: Moving Forward in a Post-Pandemic World” O’Donnell shared strategies with over 2,300 educators on how we can address the digital divide by teaching STEAM along a high-touch to high-tech spectrum. She shared examples of how to integrate computational thinking and foundational coding into the STEAM classroom, using both high-touch simple materials and high-tech digital tools, so that all students can enhance their STEAM skills. O’Donnell drew examples from the Smithsonian Science for Makerspaces project.

Junior Academy of Sciences of Ukraine

The Smithsonian welcomed Ukrainian Ambassador Oksana Markarova and representatives from the Junior Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (JASU) to discuss shared commitments for inspiring inventive and scientific learning through innovative and experiential programming.
Pictured from left to right: Arthur Daemmrich (Director, Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation), Carol O’Donnell (Director, Smithsonian Science Education Center), Monique Chism (Under Secretary for Education), Ambassador Oksana Markarova, Oksen Lisovyi General Director, JASU), Yevhen Kudriavets (Deputy Director for International Relations and Special Projects, JASU), and Lauren Appelbaum (Global Program Manager, Office of International Relations).

Images courtesy SSEC screenshots & SI Office of International Relations 

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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.