Life Science

Bear and cubs in the woods

With support from an NSF grant, Smithsonian Science Education Center developed the Science and Technology Concepts Program™ (STC™): A basal, science and engineering-practices centered program for grades K-10.

Physical Science

Water droplet 
Each STC™ unit provides opportunities for students to experience scientific phenomena firsthand. The units cover life, earth, and physical sciences with technology.

Earth & Space Science

Rocks in the sunset
Carolina Biological Supply Company creates kits for each STC™ unit, supporting the teacher with everything needed for meaningful learning experiences.

Innovation in Education

The Smithsonian Science Education Center received a 5-year, $30 million Investing in Innovation (i3) grant to improve K-8 science education. We are working with researchers, communities, districts, schools, and teachers in three regions to evaluate the effectiveness of our inquiry-based science education model (LASER: Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform). 

A Community of Support 

The LASER model addresses classroom instruction using a research-based science curriculum with aligned professional development for teachers.  LASER also provides the entire support system with excellent science education. This prepares students for the opportunities of our 21st century economy.

Diversity of Classrooms 

Our goal is to develop practices and procedures that can be replicated in other schools, districts, and states. LASER i3 is currently working with over 75,000 students and 3,000 teachers from urban and rural schools in grades one through eight. Learn more

Smithsonian Institution

Founded in 1846, the Smithsonian is the world's largest museum and research complex, consisting of 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park and nine research facilities. The Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) was established by the Smithsonian and the National Academies in 1985. Its mission is to improve the learning and teaching of science for all students in the United States and throughout the world. Go to the Smithsonian home page

  • Five Careers in STEM that Range from a Certificate to a Doctorate

    There are many career opportunities that exist within the realm of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). One of the most common misconceptions about these career paths is that they require years in the classroom, highly advanced degrees, and a great amount of student debt. It doesn’t have to be this way! We have listed five STEM careers that range from a certificate to a doctorate. The best part is, many of them reside in the fastest growing job markets in the world and have excellent entry level pay. In fact, economic forecasts project a demand for more than one million additional professionals with a degree in STEM by 2018!


    Check out these incredible careers that exist at all levels of STEM higher education!

    Biochemists and Biophysicists

    Research the effects of substances, like drugs, hormones, and food on tissues and biological processes. Use cutting edge technology, like lasers, to conduct experiments.

    Median annual wage: (2013): $84,320/$40.54/hour
    Degree required: Doctoral or professional degree
    Work experience: None
    How to Become One: Biochemists and biophysicists need a Ph.D. to work in independent research and development positions. However, bachelor’s and master’s degree holders are qualified for some entry-level positions.