October in Review

October 2020


Nebraska Association of Teachers of Science

Smithsonian Science Education Center Director, Carol O’Donnell, and Division Director for Professional Services, Amy D’Amico, presented at the Nebraska Association of Teachers of Science (NATS) Fall Conference, providing an example framework for developing a sequence of lessons for K-12 classroom, museum, or learning centers that draws on the Smithsonian Science for Global Goals Community Research Guides, which help youth ages 8-17 discover, understand, and act on the most pressing socio-scientific challenges of our time. O’Donnell and D’Amico used SSEC’s new “COVID-19! How Can I Protect Myself and Others?” community research guide for youth as an example lesson sequence. 20 educators reaching 1,319 students attended this session.


Smithsonian American Women's History Initiative

On October 22nd O’Donnell presented at the American Women's History Initiative (AWHI) event “American Women of Science: Recovering History, Defining the Future”. In this panel, Dr. Shirley Malcom, Senior Advisor and Director of SEA Change at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), talked with O’Donnell, as well as, Acting Under Secretary for Education, Ruki Neuhold-Ravikumar, Anacostia Community Museum Program Coordinator, Katrina Lashley, about Dr. Malcom’s seminal 1976 report, The Double Bind: The Price of Being a Minority Woman in Science. The panel addresses question such as: What barriers existed for women of color in science when Dr. Malcom first authored her report 44 years ago? What barriers still exist today? What progress have we made? What tools and methods can educators and science writers like AAAS use to reach new audiences and inspire the next generation of women in STEM?

Citizen Science Sustainable Development Goals Conference

On October 14th, O’Donnell presented at the Citizen Science Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Conference. In the session, O’Donnell reviewed how SSEC integrated citizen science into their Smithsonian Science for Global Goals (SSfGG) series and how the Smithsonian is working with Aarhus University to embed “extreme citizen science” into SSfGG through digital citizen science tools and games based on behavioral economics developed by Dr. Jacob Sherson and his team at ScienceAtHome.


1st South East Asia STEM International Conference

O’Donnell served as the keynote speaker at the 1st South East Asia STEM International Conference (SEA-STEM-IC) on October 20th.  O’Donnell’s presentation - “Using the UN Sustainable Development Goals to Teach Inquiry-based STEM Education in Challenging Times” – explored teaching inquiry-based STEM education (IBSE) in complex times and how the Smithsonian is using the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework for helping students maintain high interest in STEM as a path to doing social good. O’Donnell drew on SSEC’s recent chapter published in the book “Education Around the Globe: Creating Opportunities and Transforming Lives” and shared free curriculum resources for STEM educators to guide their instruction.





Images courtesy Smithsonian Institution

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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.