The Smithsonian established the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access (SCLDA) in 1976 to serve public education by bringing Smithsonian collections and expertise into the nation’s classrooms. For more than 40 years, it has published educational materials and provided one access point to Smithsonian educational resources.
To understand the needs of teachers, students, and museum educators, the Center spent more than a decade in active experimentation and research, culminating in the launch of the Smithsonian Learning Lab. Since its launch in 2016, museum and classroom educators have used the Lab’s tools to create thousands of new examples—ranging from experiments to models—for using Smithsonian resources for learning.
The Center now studies how teachers and students use digital museum resources and broadly disseminates this knowledge through professional development to advance museum and digital learning.
Journey through an Exploded Star: An Online Interactive
Earth and Space Sciences
Middle school–High school
The elements that make up nearly all that you are and can see first came from the explosion of a massive star! Step inside one such explosion and explore the forces that connect each of us to the stars.
In this collection, students will explore the life cycle of stars and learn about the connection between elements and space. They'll explore real data that provides evidence for the dispersal of several elements produced by the explosion of massive stars, specifically through the Cassiopeia A supernova. Then they’ll put their knowledge into practice by navigating the remains of the supernova in the online interactive “Journey through an Exploded Star.”
Smithsonian in Your ClassroomShow All 23 Collections
Learning Lab collections based upon issues of Smithsonian in Your Classroom magazine, published by the Smithsonian Institution Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Smithsonian Office of Education, and the Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies from 1997 to 2012.
Art to ZooShow All 60 Collections
Learning Lab collections based upon issues of Art to Zoo magazine, published by the Smithsonian Institution Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Smithsonian Office of Education, and the Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies from 1976 to 1997.
Playing Historical Detective: Great-Grandmother's Dress and Other Clues to the Life and Times of Annie Steel
"Blacks in the Westward Movement," "What Can You Do with a Portrait?" and "Of Beetles, Worms, and Leaves of Grass"
Highlights CollectionsShow All 43 Collections
These Learning Lab topical collections contain images, text, and other multimedia resources. Use them to introduce or augment your study of these topics.