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 4, 2015: Unseen Connections - A Natural History of the Cellphone

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

Teacher Resources

A Manufactured Object (Exploring the Properties of Matter)

 

Synthesizing New Materials (Experimenting with Mixtures, Compounds, and Elements)
 


 

Student Resources

A Manufactured Object (Exploring the Properties of Matter)

 

Synthesizing New Materials (Experimenting with Mixtures, Compounds, and Elements)
 


 



 

MORE INFO Joshua A. Bell is a cultural anthropologist at the National Museum of Natural History. Have you ever considered that a little part of everywhere in the world is inside your phone? Joshua studies the natural history of cellphones, from cradle to grave. Take a journey with him along a supply chain, from the mines that produce cellphone minerals to the millions of discarded cellphones. Consider how cellphones have revolutionized our communications and changed our personal interactions. Reflect with Joshua about the emerging social implications of a cellphone being one of our most intimate possessions.

Smithsonian Institution image.


 





Watch live on June 4 at 11am and 2pm EST


 

May 7, 2015: Mummy Science: Natural and Cultural Preserved Remains

Book cover for the STC unit, Investigating Digestion and Motion.

Teacher Resources

Life in the Bone Zone (Investigating Digestion and Motion)

 

Student Resources

Life in the Bone Zone (Investigating Digestion and Motion)

 







 

MORE INFO David Hunt is a museum specialist in physical anthropology at the National Museum of Natural History. He is an expert on mummies and how they are made. Did you know that mummies are often made accidentally? Conditions such as extreme cold, dryness, or lack of oxygen may preserve humans or other animals for hundreds or thousands of years. Unwrap the secrets of mummies using non-invasive modern techniques such as X-ray and CT scanning. We will compare human-made mummies to naturally-made mummies as we take a journey into research on people of the past.

NOTE: This program includes examples of human remains and may not be suitable for some viewers.

Smithsonian image 2011-01254 by Chip Clark.
 



Watch live on May 7 at 11am and 2pm EST


 

April 16, 2015: Mineral Dependence: Gemstones to Cellphones

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

Teacher Resources

A Manufactured Object (Exploring the Properties of Matter)

 

Synthesizing New Materials (Experimenting with Mixtures, Compounds, and Elements)
 

Getting "Wise" with Pegamites (STEMvisions Blog)
 

Student Resources

A Manufactured Object (Exploring the Properties of Matter)

 

Synthesizing New Materials (Experimenting with Mixtures, Compounds, and Elements)
 

Getting "Wise" with Pegamites (STEMvisions Blog)
 



 

MORE INFO Michael Wise is a geologist at the National Museum of Natural History. He studies unusual rocks called pegmatites, which he considers to be "Nature’s Giant Treasure Chests." How would your life be different without these unique rocks? Pegmatites boast much larger mineral crystals than other rocks because of the special conditions under which they form. Take a closer look at garnets, tourmalines, and other minerals that come from pegmatites. Find out how you depend on pegmatites for everyday uses, such as operating your cellphone.

Smithsonian Institution image.


 





Watch live on April 16 at 11am and 2pm EST


 

March 26, 2015: Ocean Biodiversity: Discovering Marine Invertebrates

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

Teacher Resources

Marching to the Beat of Tides (Researching the Sun-Earth-Moon System)

 

What's in an Organism's Name? (Investigating Biodiversity and Interdependence)
 

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

Student Resources

Marching to the Beat of Tides (Researching the Sun-Earth-Moon System)

 

What's in an Organism's Name? (Investigating Biodiversity and Interdependence)
 

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



 

MORE INFO Karen Osborn is a zoologist at the National Museum of Natural History. Karen peers into the ocean depths using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to look for organisms. Take a visual journey with Karen 200-4000 meters down to see the life she discovers in this mid-water habitat. Visit the surprising world below the ocean's surface, where polychaetes and other invertebrates abound. Find out how zoologists like Karen give names to the new species they find. Consider the signficance of ocean biodiversity for the systems that sustain life on Earth.

Image courtesy of Steve Haddock, MBARI.


 





Watch archived webcast!


 

 

March 12, 2015: Mineral Transformations: Demystifying Microbes

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

Teacher Resources

Mighty Microbes (Investigating Biodiversity and Interdependence)

Bacteria: Friends or Foes? (Investigating Biodiversity and Interdependence)

Student Resources

Mighty Microbes (Investigating Biodiversity and Interdependence)

Bacteria: Friends or Foes? (Investigating Biodiversity and Interdependence)









 

MORE INFO Cara Santelli is a geologist at the National Museum of Natural History. Cara studies the relationship between minerals and microbes, such as bacteria and fungi. Did you know that microbes are a solution to pollution? Cara works to better understand how microbes can help clean up metal pollutants from old coal mines. Take a journey from Pennsylvania coal mines to an X-ray diffraction laboratory. See how microbes are little machines for mineral transformations. Get to know the microscopic organisms that are essential to the health of our natural environment.

Photo courtesy of Cara Santelli.


 

Watch archived webcast!











 

January 15, 2015: Ecosystem Change: Plotting with Plant Collections

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

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

Teacher Resources

The Wonder of Flowering Plants (Studying the Development and Reproduction of Organisms)

Even a Habitat Has to Live Somewhere (Investigating Biodiversity and Interdependence)

Student Resources

The Wonder of Flowering Plants (Studying the Development and Reproduction of Organisms)

Even a Habitat Has to Live Somewhere (Investigating Biodiversity and Interdependence)









 

MORE INFO Rusty Russell is the Botany Collections Manager at the National Museum of Natural History. Rusty manages collections activities in the U.S. National Herbarium, a research collection that contains more than 5 million pressed, dried plant specimens. What is the point of keeping so many plant specimens? Take a journey with Rusty to see how plant collections can be used to map ecosystem changes over time. Visit a part of Southern California that experienced a dramatic shift in plant species composition during the 20th century. See how students and other volunteers can be instrumental in collecting data to tell the story of ecosystem change.

Photo from Smithsonian Institution Archives, SIA-2002-24193.


 

Watch archived webcast!











 

December 11, 2014: Bird Extinctions - Time Travel through Lava Tubes

Book cover for the STC unit, Exploring Plate Tectonics.

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

Teacher Resources

Igneous Rocks (Exploring Plate Tectonics)

Vertebrates and Their Habitats (Investigating Biodiversity and Interdependence)

Student Resources

Igneous Rocks (Exploring Plate Tectonics)

Vertebrates and Their Habitats (Investigating Biodiversity and Interdependence)









 

MORE INFO Dr. Helen James is an ornithologist at the National Museum of Natural History. Have you ever considered how a species as abundant as the passenger pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius) could have gone extinct? Analyze their disappearance and consider what factors make birds vulnerable to extinction. Follow Helen into Hawaiian lava tubes to look for fossil evidence of bird life on the islands. See which bird species survived and which did not after humans arrived on the scene. Use modern tools and technologies to interpret bird extinctions.

Image courtesy of Carla H. Kishinami, The Bishop Museum.
 

Watch archived webcast!











 

October 8, 2014: Mass Extinction - Solving the Dinosaur Mystery

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

Teacher Resources

Taxonomy Taken a Step Further (Studying the Development and Reproduction of Organisms)

Extinction: Rivet by Rivet (Studying the Development and Reproduction of Organisms)

Student Resources

Taxonomy Taken a Step Further (Studying the Development and Reproduction of Organisms)

Extinction: Rivet by Rivet (Studying the Development and Reproduction of Organisms)









 

MORE INFO Meet Dr. Kirk Johnson, a paleobotanist and Director of  the National Museum of Natural History. See how he and other experts joined forces to figure out what happened at the end of the Cretaceous, 66 million years ago. While you may be familiar with the extinction of large dinosaurs, you might not realize that much of the other life on Earth went extinct as well. Join Kirk as he explores the extinction and recovery stories told by fossils found at the Hell Creek Formation in North Dakota. Examine evidence for the causes, the consequences, and the aftermath of the mass extinction for life on Earth.

Watch archived webcast!






 







View the 2013-2014 Smithsonian Science How resources here
 

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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