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National History Day: Stories of Triumph and Tragedy from the National Portrait Gallery

By: Kate Clarke Lemay, Historian and Briana Zavadil White, Student and Teacher Programs Manager, Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery tells the story of America by portraying the people who shape the nation’s history, development, and culture. Our collection presents people of remarkable character and achievement. These Americans include artists, politicians, scientists, inventors, activists, and performers, who together form our national identity.…

Strategies to Engage Young Children with Museum Objects and Artworks

By Meredith Osborne, Museum and Early Learning Specialist, Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center and Brooke Shoemaker, Museum and Early Learning Specialist, Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center As early learning and museum education specialists at the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center, we believe in the value of using museum objects (including artifacts, artwork, specimens, etc.) to engage children ages zero to six in learning every day. Objects tell stories, provide opportunities for careful lo…

“Triumph & Tragedy” Digital Resources for National History Day

By: Joe Phelan, Division of Education, National Endowment for the Humanities and Tess Porter, Education Support Specialist, Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access If you mentor student projects, you know the challenges of helping students brainstorm exciting and relevant topics for which they will find authoritative supporting resources. To make this task easier, the Smithsonian Learning Lab and the National Endowment for the Humanities’ EDSITEment have teamed up to create digital c…

First-Generation College and Career Readiness: A Link to Visual Literacy Skill Development

By: Le’Passion Darby, Instructional Designer for Tech & Tour.   While there is materiality to campus artifacts, they interface with campus constituents in interpretative ways to produce multiple meanings, and these artifacts can be photographed for discussions of campus culture. Dr. James Banning, Professor Emeritus, School of Education, Colorado State University ------------------------------------------------------- Every spring, thousands of high school juniors and s…

Austin's Asian American Pacific Islander Roots

By: Hanna Huang, Culture & Arts Education Coordinator and Acting Supervisor of the City of Austin Asian American Resource Center When the Asian American Resource Center (AARC) in Austin, Texas, embarked on the project of hosting a Smithsonian Learning Lab Teacher Creativity Studio, I knew we would be working on a solid foundation. For the nearly five years the AARC has been open, our education team has been working to define Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) programming. We see each AAPI c…