France in Focus
The US Embassy in Paris and the Smithsonian’s Office of International Relations and Smithsonian Science Education Center have developed a unique program, France in Focus, that invites students and educators to connect across the globe and focus on issues of sustainability. The France in Focus project leverages community research guides from the, and engages students in virtual exchange.
France in Focus 2022-2023
The 2022-2023 program was designed for students to engage with the guide entitled
- Students engage in activities from the ! guide to explore their role in biodiversity and sustainability in their own communities.
- Students engage with peers internationally through the eTwinning platform to understand global-local interconnection and share knowledge about their experiences and their communities’ solutions.
- Students converse with international experts in the field.
- Students are equipped with the skills and knowledge to move toward a capstone project, focused on biodiversity in their own community.
This spring, the Smithsonian Science Education Center, in collaboration with the Smithsonian Office of International Relations and the US Embassy in Paris, concluded its final Capstone Showcase session of the 2022 France in Focus Fall Exchange Program: Biodiversity and Balance for Our Shared Future. This project brought together classrooms from across the United States and France to collaborate on issues of sustainability, culture, science, and shared understanding using the Smithsonian Science Education Center's Smithsonian Science for Global Goals Biodiversity! How can we balance the needs of people with the needs of other living things? community response guide. The program consisted of four "live" sessions, followed by collaborative asynchronous intersessions for students to take a deeper dive into the Biodiversity content between the live sessions.
In this final Capstone Showcase, ten groups of students presented their final action plans as a “capstone” to the work that they had done over the 6-month program. During this session, students presented their videos to an audience of Smithsonian and other professionals to receive real-time feedback on their action plans. Capstone topics included but were not limited to waste management, the impact of urbanization on the Everglades, workshops on biodiversity with younger students, and ecofriendly libraries. Student actions ranged from beach clean-ups to interviewing local officials on how they are addressing issues of biodiversity in their community, and provided an opportunity for students to understand biodiversity on both a local and global scale.
Lycée Vaucanson and Our Lady of Lourdes Academy
Lycée Sainte Marie Bastide and Our Lady of Lourdes Academy
Cité scolaire D'Arsonval
Collège les Colliberts
Learn More about France in Focus
Connecting Students Across Oceans for a Shared, Sustainable Future
Students from the U.S., France, and French overseas regions are working together with the support of the Smithsonian and the U.S. Embassy in France to focus on fostering a sustainable future for all.
Fostering Franco-American Exchange for Our Shared Future
U.S. Ambassador to the French Republic and to the Principality of Monaco, Ambassador Denise Campbell Bauer, reflects on the Smithsonian-France partnership that has helped students reach across the globe to connect on important issues facing our planet.
Thinking Globally from a Classroom in France
David Dussort and his Seconde 6 students at Sainte Marie Bastide High School in Bordeaux, France, participated in the U.S. Embassy in Paris and Smithsonian’s cross-cultural program #SmithsonianInFrance. Learn more about their experience and how the lessons have shaped their way of thinking globally and acting locally.
How the Smithsonian is Creating a Path for Students to Meet Global Sustainability Goals
The Smithsonian Office of International Relations is always finding new and innovative ways to showcase how the Smithsonian is part of a shared, sustainable future for the Earth. Aviva Rosenthal, Director of the Smithsonian’s Office of International Relations, shares how the Smithsonian Institution-wide legacy, resources, and goals can also help foster a sustainable learning path for students around the globe.
Building a Curriculum to Address Our Shared Future
Heidi Gibson works to develop engaging and future-forward curriculum for the Smithsonian Science Education Center. Recently, she developed the Sustainable Communities guide as part of the Smithsonian Science for Global Goals project for use in the #SmithsonianInFrance program. Learn more about this guide and how a sustainable-centered curriculum supports global students on their paths toward creating an equitable, sustainable, and connected future.
How a US Classroom Reached Across an Ocean to Make Global Sustainable Goals a Part of Their Lesson Plan
A US-based class connected with peers in France and French Territories to learn how they can be part of the solution for our shared, sustainable future. Their teacher, Maria Isabel Alonso, answered a few questions with her class at Belen Jesuit Preparatory School in Miami, Florida, about how they used the Smithsonian in France program to incorporate global sustainable goals into their curriculum and daily lives.