• Image promoting the Smithsonian Science Education Center's new e-Book, Expedition: Insects

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

  • It’s a bird, it’s a plane… It’s Energy’s Innovations!

    The second Smithsonian Science Education Academy for Teachers (SSEAT) of the summer came to a successful close once again in the middle of July. The focus of this academy was Energy’s Innovations and Implications. The participants heard from a diverse set of speakers on past, current, and future renewable sources of energy as well as how energy has transformed the world we live in for the past 200 years.

    The week began with an introduction to modern energy use starting in the industrial revolution where the modern engine was created, initially ran by water until efficiency was increased because of the introduction of steam heated by combustion. Hal Wallace, Curator of Electrical Collections at the National Museum of American History, also introduced the impact Thomas Edison had in bringing electricity to the masses with the creation of the first electrical grid in Menlo Park. Participants were even able to see one of the first electric elevators on display in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Today this electrical grid spans the entire United States, powering lights and appliances each and every day in almost every U.S. home. With the expansion of the grid came an expansion of power stations to supply enough electricity for the quickly growing demand and thus a spike in energy resource usage.