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Smithsonian Staff Picks

 

Mummy Science - Natural and Cultural Preserved Remains

This Smithsonian Science How learning collection, from Q?rius at the National Museum of Natural History, is part of a distance learning program at http://qrius.si.edu/explore-science/webcast This collection focuses on the science of mummies. Targeted at middle schoolers, the collection invites students into an authentic understanding of how mummies form, both naturally and culturally. Physical and forensic anthropologist Dr. David Hunt is featured as an expert explainer. The collection includes an interactive webcast video with discussion questions, cross-cutting activities, an independent project, and other resources for teachers and students.

This collection was created to support the 2016 CCSSO Teachers of the Year Day at the Smithsonian.

Key Terms: physical anthropology, archaeology, skeletal remains, mummification, burial practices, decomposition, culture

Key Concepts:

Skeletal analysis for age, sex, ancestry, and health

Cultural burial practices over time

Chemical process of mummification

Scientific benefits of studying mummies

Technology used by physical anthropologists

Smithsonian Science How
13
 

Stamp Stories: The Revolutionary War

A resource demonstrating a fun and engaging teaching strategy, Stamp Stories.
Postage stamps are not simply a means to send a letter but can serve as windows into the history and cultures of the world. Every stamp tells a story. Simultaneously a primary and secondary source; the subject depicted on a stamp presents opportunities for innovative teaching strategies that appeal specifically to visual learners.

In this lesson, students build their own stamp collections to show what they’ve learned and debate why the stamps they've chosen reflect the given theme.

This specific collection features the Revolutionary War but the technique may be applied to any subject or theme as an assessment, review tool, or ice breaker.
Emily Murgia
14
 

Mars

A current elementary or middle school student will most likely be the first human to step foot on Mars. In this episode of STEM in 30, we will investigate the plans to send humans to Mars and the ongoing research into water and the possibility of life on the Red Planet.

October 21, 2015


This collection was created to support the 2016 CCSSO Teachers of the Year Day at the Smithsonian.

STEM in 30 at National Air and Space Museum
28
 

Unpacking Sol LeWitt’s Open Cubes

Students will analyze Sol LeWitt's variations of the open cube to apply their knowledge of drawing cubes using isometric paper and nets of cubes. Students will extend their knowledge of surface area while observing LeWitt's Cube without a cube and make a generalization for two formulas.

This is an activity for a grade 6 or 7 geometry class. Prerequisite knowledge: volume, surface area and nets of cubes.

Students can do the work in groups of 2-3 there are sections for thinking routines and prompts for students to upload photos of their work.

Amanda Riske
8