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
Manager of Digital Media



Ashley Deese is the Manager of Digital Media at the Smithsonian Science Education Center where she manages the production and distribution of digital media and products such as websites, games, interactives, and video. Ashley has produced several documentary shorts. Most notably, her short film, Terraba: An Indigenous Relationship with the Rainforest, was selected as a finalist in the United Nations International Film Festival. Ashley has also produced internationally acclaimed and bestselling apps for the Smithsonian such as "BumperDucks", "Expedition: Insects", "Disaster Detector", and "Showbiz Safari". Ashley’s app, "Morphy!", received an honoree award by The Webby Awards in 2016. Ashley is a voting member of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, a member of the Smithsonian Networks Review Committee, and the co-chair for Smithsonian Gaming. She earned her BS in Biology from Methodist University and a MA in Interactive Media from Elon University.