September in Review

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Visit

Smithsonian Science Education Center Director, Carol O'Donnell, traveled to Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University on September 7th to meet with Engineering Professor Lisa McNair, who is the Director for the Center for Researching Science, Engineering, Art and Design (CRSE). CRSE is part of the University’s Institute for Creativity, Arts and Technology (ICAT) and houses ICAT's education work related to outreach and engagement, research and evaluation, and partnership and advocacy. O’Donnell had the opportunity to meet the CSRE team, as well as ICAT founding Director, Ben Knapp, and ICAT Associate Director, Tom Martin. O’Donnell also shared with the teams SSEC’s work in K-12 STEM Education, specifically recent work in educating youth in engineering practices. O’Donnell and McNair discussed mutual points of interest between the two centers and possible collaborations.

Connecting Global Concerns to School, Community, and Industry

A September 3rd blog titled “Connecting Global Concerns to School, Community, and Industry” and authored by Catapult X reports on its STEM focus group findings, and then circulated the findings to  fellow colleagues in science and STEM education. In the blog, it cites Donnell who suggested that Catapult X add a definition of STEM education as opposed to just STEM and she shared with the author a definition from Carnegie Mellon University.

United Nations General Assembly

Held on September 24th, the SDGs In Action Forum is an annual high-level event that brings together leaders from the private sector, United Nations (UN) Member States, UN agencies, and international organizations so that they can leverage their experience, access to market, and resources towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The private sector is well-positioned to bring sustainable long-term solutions to achieving the SDGs by the 2030 target. Likewise, the SDGs present significant opportunities for the private sector to open up new markets and attract new private investments in sustainable development. As one of nine invitational speakers, O’Donnell presented on Smithsonian Science Education Center's "Smithsonian Science for Global Goals" project, which uses the UN SDGs as an instructional framework to help youth ages 8-17 focus on sustainable actions that are student-defined and implemented.



Images courtesy of C. O’Donnell & Catapult X

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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.