Throughout mankind’s history we have looked to the sky for inspiration, navigation, and guidance in understanding our world. Astronomical phenomena have influenced our creation myths and religions. The magnificent display of a lunar eclipse has impacted cultures and inspired fear throughout mankind's past. The lunar eclipse is one of the most documented astronomical occurrences in history. For thousands of years, civilizations have been observing its red glow and attributing meaning to the sight.
So often we are told to put students at the center of the learning process and encourage them to be critical thinkers. But what does this mean in practice? Probably every educator has struggled with this aspiration. We know the idea of critical thinking is important, but the question that remains is how can we use education to develop critical thinking skills?
As a Brazilian student, I have a very clear example that I look up to: Paulo Freire. His revolutionary methodology is a useful tool for teachers from around to world who want to contribute to social empowerment
Introducing Shannon Brogdon-Grantham, Photo Conservator at the Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute, A pioneering woman in STEM, Shannon uses science to restore and preserve our past for future generations while enriching our present.
To celebrate Black History Month, SSEC is spotlighting remarkable African American women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, beginning with Robin Kumoluyi, microbiologist and Vice President and Chief Quality Officer, Pharmaceuticals at Johnson & Johnson.
Nazanin Rastegradoost is a Wireless Communications Specialist with Ofinno. Nazanin shared how her first experiences with astronomy in Tehran, Iran shaped her outlook on STEM and inevitably led her to pursue a career with Ofinno.
Smithsonian Science Education Center: What was your first memorable experience with STEM?
Hyoungsuk Jeon is an Inventor, Radio Technologies and Research Manager with Ofinno. His curiosity about problem solving and engineering started at a young age with the help of a toy car gifted by his grandfather. As his passions grew, he moved from South Korea to America to pursue more advanced academic and career opportunities that aligned with his goals. Hyoungsuk spoke with the Smithsonian Science Education Center about his engineering career journey.
Operationalizing Sustainable Development: Local Strategies
On April 18th Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) Director, Dr. Carol O’Donnell, served on a panel for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s virtual workshop, Operationalizing Sustainable Development: Local Strategies. The panel was chaired by Dr. William Colglazier and focused on Education and Capacity Building. Dr. O’Donnell’s remarks:
On June 4th SSEC Director, Carol O’Donnell, provided the keynote address at the Leading Young Minds Follow-Up Meeting hosted by the Los Angeles United School District (LAUSD). LAUSD attended SSEC’s Strategic Planning Institute (SPI) in person in 2018 and then held their own SPI in LA in 2019. O’Donnell’s keynote sought to help school district attendees consider equity in their Action Plans. Over 39 teachers representing 20 schools in LAUSD attended this virtual event.
On March 17th SSEC Director, Carol O’Donnell, gave a talk at the STEM MENA conference. 80 attendees attended her presentation, which can be viewed here: Using the UN Sustainable Development Goals to Teach Inquiry-based STEM Education in a Post-Pandemic World
World Education Summit
Gen Z: The Conscious Generation
On December 1st, SSEC Director Carol O’Donnell was an invited panelist for the Bloomberg Sustainable Business Briefing “Gen Z: The Conscious Generation.” Led by a Bloomberg journalist discussing how to educate, inform, and support the workforce of the future, the panel examined how companies and Gen Z can connect to build a more sustainable working world of the future.
Scarisbrick Hall School, UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) hosted an online “Global Classroom” to help young people around the world learn more about COVID-19. The virtual event hosted schoolchildren from 193 countries invited to ask questions about the virus and pandemic.
Smithsonian Science Education Center Director, Carol O’Donnell, and Division Director for Curriculum & Communications, Brian Mandell, both presented at the event.
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