Smithsonian Science How? Webcasts

Teachers are encouraged to use our science education resources to maximize the learning potential of the Smithsonian Science How? webcasts! This is a new and unique resource that taps the learning power of our curriculum while aligning with standards. 

If you are interested in further exploring our curriculum, please see our publishing partners, Carolina Biological Supply Company.

June 5, 2014: Climate Change Past and Present featuring Scott Wing

Teacher Resources

Reading Selections (Understanding Weather and Climate; Exploring Planetary Systems)

Student Resources

Reading Selections (Understanding Weather and Climate; Exploring Planetary Systems)








 

MORE INFO Dr. Scott Wing is a paleobotanist at the National Museum of Natural History. On June 5th at 11am and 2pm ET, see what he found in the Big Horn Basin of Wyoming that was worth eleven years of searching. Join him in interpreting the climate record from fossilized leaves and other clues. Explore how plant communities have changed in response to global climate changes. Understand today's warming of our planet in a geological context.

Image: Dr. Scott Wing in the field in the Big Horn Basin of Wyoming with a photo of a swamp to show what the area would have looked like 50 million years ago. In his webcast, Scott reveals evidence for changes in plant communities during a distinct global warming event about 56 million years ago. Image courtesy of Ira Block.







 

May 15, 2014: Windows to Earth's Interior featuring Elizabeth Cottrell

Teacher Resources

Viscosity and Volcano Types (Exploring Plate Tectonics)

Volcanoism (Exploring Planetary Systems)

Student Resources

Viscosity and Volcano Types (Exploring Plate Tectonics)

Volcanoism (Exploring Planetary Systems)








 

MORE INFO Dr. Elizabeth Cottrell is a geologist at the National Museum of Natural History. On May 15 at 11am and 2pm ET, join her in exploring volcanoes as windows into the Earth's interior. Understand how you are connected to the interior of the Earth. Uncover the evidence about geologic events contained in volcanic glass. Think about how plate tectonics have gotten us to where we are today.

Image: Dr. Elizabeth Cottrell in her laboratory at the National Museum of Natural History. In her webcast, Liz talks about why she calls volcanoes the "lungs of the Earth." Smithsonian photo by Wei Qian.







 

April 24, 2014: Exploring the Unexplored featuring Carole Baldwin

Book cover for the STC unit, Studying the Development and Reproduction of Organisms.

Teacher Resources

What are Organisms? (Studying the Development and Reproduction of Organisms)

Student Resources

What are Organisms? (Studying the Development and Reproduction of Organisms)









 

MORE INFO Dr. Carole Baldwin, a marine biologist at the National Museum of Natural History. On April 24 at 11am and 2pm ET, join her in seeing what fishes live in deep reefs that are seldom explored. Peer into her state of the art submersible to get a view of ocean life 200-1000 feet below the surface. See how Carole deals with an unwelcome fish visitor. Learn what ocean temperature loggers can add to what we know about global climate change.

Image: Dr. Carole Baldwin peeking out of a research submersible in Curacao with the sub owner, Adriaan Schrier. In her webcast, Carole talks about how she explores deep reefs. Photo by Barry Brown, Substation Curacao.







 

April 10, 2014: Quantifying Biodiversity: Life in One Cubic Foot featuring Chris Meyer

Book cover for the STC unit, Studying the Development and Reproduction of Organisms.

Teacher Resources

Exploration Activity: Endangered Species (Studying the Development and Reproduction of Organisms)

Student Resources

Exploration Activity: Endangered Species (Studying the Development and Reproduction of Organisms)









 

MORE INFO Dr. Christopher Meyer, a marine biologist at the National Museum of Natural History. On April 10 at 11am and 2pm ET, join him in peering into the diversity of life on coral reefs in Moorea and Indonesia. Consider why you would want to find and catalog all the species in an ecosystem and what it tells you about that ecosystem's resilience to change. Contemplate the importance of monitoring biodiversity in ecosystems around the world. See how techniques used by Chris can be used by students to measure biodiversity in their own neighborhoods.

Image: Dr.Chris Meyer getting ready to recover ARMs in Moorea, French Polynesia. In his webcast, he explains ARMS and other techniques to measure biodiversity. Photo by David Liittschwager.









 

March 27, 2014: Human Evolution: Early Human Diets featuring Briana Pobiner

Book cover for the STC unit, Investigating Biodiversity and Interdependence.

Teacher Resources

Exploration Activity: Vertebrates and Their Habitats (Investigating Biodiversity and Interdependence)

Student Resources

Exploration Activity: Vertebrates and Their Habitats (Investigating Biodiversity and Interdependence)



 






MORE INFO Dr. Briana Pobiner is an Anthropologist at the National Museum of Natural History. On March 27 at 11am and 2pm ET, join her in the discovery of fossil evidence of some of the earliest humans on Earth. Share her excitement about holding an animal bone that was handled by an early human more than 1 million years ago. Consider what you can learn about early humans from cut marks on ancient animal bones. Contemplate the significance of the evolution of meat-eating in humans. See how Briana is helping us better understand the lives of our 1.5 million year old ancestors.

Image: Dr. Briana Pobiner collects information from a zebra bone from a lion kill to help understand the different patterns of damage left by African carnivores on bones when they eat their prey. Image courtesy of Dr. Fire Kovarovic.






 

March 13, 2014: Adaptations: Inside the Insect Zoo featuring Dan Babbitt

Book cover for the STC unit, Investigating Biodiversity and Interdependence.

Teacher Resources

The WOWBug: Getting a Closer Look (Investigating Biodiversity and Interdependence)

Student Resources

The WOWBug: Getting a Closer Look (Investigating Biodiversity and Interdependence)









 

MORE INFO Dan Babbitt is the Manager of the O. Orkin Insect Zoo and Butterfly Pavilion at the National Museum of Natural History. On March 13 at 11am and 2pm ET, join him in exploring the lives of insects and other arthropods at the Insect Zoo. Look at insect adaptations in a new light, considering how they eat, how they move, and how they grow. Think about the characteristics of each species that help keep it alive in tough conditions. Probe into the mysteries of the cycles of insect life and death and consider why a cockroach is a good parent. Plan to work through any aversions you may have to insects and spiders by seeing through Dan's eyes how fascinating and unique they are.

Image: Dan Babbitt holding a Malayan Jungle Nymph (Heteropteryx dilatata). Image courtesy of Cameron Davidson.








 

Feb. 27, 2014: Forensic Anthropology: Bone Whispering featuring Kari Bruwelheide

Book cover for the STC unit, Experimenting with Mixtures, Compounds, and Elements.

Teacher Resources

Separating Solutes (Experimenting with Mixtures, Compounds and Elements)

Student Sheet 4.1 (Experimenting with Mixtures, Compounds and Elements)

Student Sheet 4.2 (Experimenting with Mixtures, Compounds and Elements)

Inquiry 4.3 (Experimenting with Mixtures, Compounds and Elements)

Student Sheet 4.3 (Experimenting with Mixtures, Compounds and Elements)

Student Resources

Separating Solutes (Experimenting with Mixtures, Compounds and Elements)



 

MORE INFO Kari Bruwelheide is a Forensic Anthropologist and Physical Anthropologist at the National Museum of Natural History. On February 27 at 11am and 2pm ET, join her in understanding what skeletons can tell you about how people lived and died. Probe into the mysteries contained in human bones. See the sophisticated technologies being used to extract information from bones, and think about what technologies might enhance the study of bones in the future. Consider what an old skeleton reveals about people and places of the past. Learn how Kari is analyzing skeletal remains in conjunction with historical records and other artifacts to recreate a picture of human life in the Colonial Chesapeake.

Image: Kari examining a burial at the historic Harleigh Knoll site in Maryland. Harleigh Knoll Image 189 courtesy of Chip Clark, Smithsonian.






 

Feb. 12, 2014: Forensic Ornithology: Bird Detective featuring Carla Dove

Book cover for the STC unit, Studying the Development and Reproduction of Organisms. Book cover for the STC unit, Experimenting with Mixtures, Compounds, and Elements.

Teacher Resources

Jostling for Niches: Predators, Prey, and Pests (Studying the Development and Reproduction of Organisms: What are Organisms?)

"Separation Science" at the FBI (Experimenting with Mixtures, Compounds and Elements)

Student Resources

Jostling for Niches: Predators, Prey, and Pests (Studying the Development and Reproduction of Organisms: What are Organisms?)

"Separation Science" at the FBI (Experimenting with Mixtures, Compounds and Elements)





 

MORE INFO Dr. Carla Dove is an Ornithologist at the National Museum of Natural History. On February 12 at 11am and 2pm ET, join her in analyzing the remains of birds from airplane strikes and other events. See how she and her team use various types of evidence to identify the birds. Marvel at how modern techniques such as DNA barcoding can complement old-fashioned comparisons of feathers. Consider what bird remains tell you about populations of birds over time. Learn how Carla and her team are making your flights safer while also improving management of natural populations of birds.

Image: Dr. Carla Dove examining birds from the reference collection at the National Museum of Natural History to get comparison information for identifying bird remains from an airplane-bird collision. Image by David Price, Smithsonian.





 

Jan. 16, 2014: Paleobiology: Unearthing Fossil Whales Featuring Nick Pyenson

Book cover for the STC unit, Studying the Development and Reproduction of Organisms.

Teacher Resources

Earth's Moving Plates: A Look Back (Exploring Plate Tectonics: Investigating Plate Movement)

Taxonomy Taken a Step Further (Studying the Development and Reproduction of Organisms: What are Organisms?)

Student Resources

Earth's Moving Plates: A Look Back (Exploring Plate Tectonics: Investigating Plate Movement)

Taxonomy Taken a Step Further (Studying the Development and Reproduction of Organisms: What are Organisms?)





 

MORE INFO Dr. Nick Pyenson is a Paleontologist at the National Museum of Natural History. On January 16 at 11am and 2pm ET, join him in exploring a graveyard of fossil whales in Chile. Probe into the mysteries contained in fossil whale skeletons. See how digitization can be used to better understand a paleontological site. Consider what whale remains can tell you about past environments. Learn how Nick and his team are analyzing fossil whales in conjunction with other data from the site to enhance our understanding of whale paleontology.

Image: Dr. Nick Pyenson, curator of fossil marine mammals at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, holds an arm bone from a "toothed" mysticete from Vancouver Island. Image courtesy of J. A. Goldbogen.



 

About Smithsonian Science How? Webcasts

Smithsonian Science How? delivers real-world science into classrooms through free, interactive, live webcasts and supporting classroom resources. The 25-minute programs feature the research and personalities of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, providing your students with positive STEM role models, information about science careers and pathways, and connections to current research.

 

Smithsonian Science Education Center has resources for teachers that accompany the Smithsonian Science How web series

 

 

Smithsonian Science Education Center

Smithsonian Science Education Center has been a leader in inquiry-centered science curriculum for grades K-8 since 1985. In addition to our work in science curriculum, we have been active in disseminating information on science teaching resources, preparing school district leaders to spearhead science education reform, and providing technical assistance to school districts. These programs have had a significant impact on science education throughout the country and internationally. Learn more about our work in transforming science education, inquiry and digital initiatives. 

 

 

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