Smithsonian Science Education Center Releases “Tami’s Tower: Let’s Think About Engineering”

The Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) has announced the release of Tami’s Tower: Let’s Think About Engineering, an educational engineering design game that will help teach students how to design a solution to a problem using basic engineering design principles. In the game, students must help Tami, a golden lion tamarin, reach fruit by building a tower with blocks. Students will need to be on the lookout for alligators, pandas and elephants that may topple the tower as they run by.

Image from Tami's Tower: Let's Think About Engineering

Educational features in Tami’s Tower: Let’s Think About Engineering include alignment with national science standards, an in-game tutorial, prompts that support metacognition, a sandbox mode to facilitate deeper learning and engineering design tips.

“If you are looking for a fun way to get your K-2 students thinking about engineering and metacognition, Tami’s Tower is it,” said Brian Mandell, director of curriculum and communications at the Smithsonian Science Education Center. “The Smithsonian Science Education Center believes that ‘Tami’s Tower’s combination of animated Smithsonian animals, bewildering building-block challenges and research-based metacognitive prompts can help our youngest learners become their own teacher.”

Funding for Tami’s Tower: Let’s Think About Engineering  was provided by a Youth Access Grant from the Smithsonian Institution's Office of the Associate Provost for Education and Access.

Tami’s Tower: Let’s Think About Engineering was developed by the Smithsonian Science Education Center and is available for free at the Apple App Store, Google Play, Amazon Apps & Games Store and online at scienceeducation.si.edu/tamis-tower.



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.