Smithsonian Science Education Center Releases “Smithsonian Science for Makerspaces”

Logo for Smithsonian Science for Makerspaces

The Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) has announced the release of Smithsonian Science for Makerspaces, a series of free online engineering design challenges for students to engage with emerging technologies through hands-on learning. Inspired by Smithsonian Science for the Classroom, these activities bridge formal science education and the exciting makerspace movement by helping educators and teachers engage with digital and physical technologies within the context of science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) by asking them to make something new.

Smithsonian Science for Makerspaces include 3-D models and thoughtfully designed lesson plans that will guide educators and students throughout the engineering design process by observing, making, designing and testing solutions to a problem.

“The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development recently reported that women’s participation in inventive activities has been increasing, but, unfortunately, the pace is slow,” said Carol O’Donnell, director of the Smithsonian Science Education Center. “Through our new Smithsonian Science for Makerspaces, we hope to instill in young girls and boys an opportunity and an excitement to learn STEAM through making. We want our youth of today to be the engineers, inventors and makers of tomorrow.”

Smithsonian Science for Makerspaces uses Smithsonian resources to introduce the topics and provide teacher support for these exciting new challenges, which are aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards and available free at https://ssec.si.edu/makerspaces.

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About the Author

Ashley Deese
Acting Division Director of Digital Media & Communications



Ashley Deese is the Assistant Division Director for Digital Media and Communications at the Smithsonian Science Education Center, a part of the Smithsonian Institution, where she leads the digital media and communications team throughout the production and distribution of Smithsonian STEM products such as games, apps, eBooks, and videos for children around the world. Ashley has produced internationally acclaimed and bestselling products for the Smithsonian such as “Pick Your Plate! A Global Guide to Nutrition,” “Disaster Detector,” and “Stories of Women in STEM at the Smithsonian.” “Aquation: The Freshwater Access Game” was a 2018 nominee for The Webby Awards inaugural games category for Public Service & Activism. Ashley was named to the 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 list for her work at the Smithsonian. In 2020, “Tami’s Tower: Let’s Think About Engineering” and “Aquation: The Freshwater Access Game” was named to the 2020 American Library Association’s Notable Children’s Digital Media list.

Ashley is a voting member of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, a member of the Smithsonian Networks Review Committee for Smithsonian Channel, a Smithsonian unit editor for the Smithsonian Magazine Voices blog, member of the digital advisory board for the Smithsonian’s American Women’s History Initiative, and a founding member of the Rolling Stone Culture Council. She earned her BS in Biology from Methodist University and a MA in Interactive Media from Elon University.