Our mission is to transform the learning and teaching of science for all students in the United States and throughout the world.

Smithsonian Science Education Center provides science education leadership development to:

  • Build awareness for science education among leaders;
  • Help develop science education leadership for groups from school districts and states;
  • Conduct programs that support the professional growth of teachers; and
  • Develop exemplary science instructional materials.


Smithsonian Castle

More than 25 years ago, the Smithsonian Institution and the National Academies jointly established the National Science Resources Center (NSRC). These widely respected scientific institutions provide the NSRC with a unique platform, as well as the resources to catalyze change at all levels of the education system. In 2013, our name changed to Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC). This new name better reflects the work of our organization.

Today, the SSEC is nationally and internationally recognized for the quality and impact of its programs on K–12 science education. Our mission is founded on the LASER Model: Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform.


The SSEC’s long-term goals are to:

  • Develop at least 1500 informed leaders from education, business, government, and science who will champion science education reform efforts at the national, state, and local levels during the next decade;
  • Engage and develop the leadership capacity of 7,000 education and community leaders representing several large urban and rural communities, and nine to eleven new states;
  • Develop partnerships with at least 20 major corporations and academic institutions that are working to transform science education;
  • Stimulate research and evaluation that will continuously transform and advance this work; and
  • Increase public knowledge of the Smithsonian's leadership in the transformation of science education.