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Found 430 Collections

 

Nature: Botanical Expressions

At the turn of the 20th century, the intersection of botanical study with design practice stimulated an array of plant forms and motifs in furnishings, glassware, ceramics, textiles, and more. Botanical Expressions reveals how designers, inspired by nature and informed by scientific knowledge, created vibrant new designs in America, Britain, France, and the Netherlands. Blossoming vases, plantlike stuctures, fanciful garden illustrations, and a diversity of vegetal and floral patterns reveal how nature and design dynamically merged.

An increasing number of designers, trained as botanists, advocated for the beauty and order of nature’s systems, colors, and patterns. Many manufacturers operated in proximity to gardens for natural study and stocked books of botanical illustrations as resources for their designers. These primary sources, on loan from Smithsonian Libraries, appear alongside the objects they influenced.

Since the 19th century, the garden was often seen as a refuge from industry and a natural source of plenty and pleasure. This history of botanical expressions in design illuminates a reflection on the critical role of nature within our world.

Cooper Hewitt Education Department
67
 

BabyLegs, 2017-2019

This collection explores BabyLegs, an open-source, affordable monitoring tool to study marine microplastic pollution featured in Nature-- Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial

Cooper Hewitt Education Department
9
 

Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg's The Substitute

On March 19, 2018, the last male northern white rhino, Sudan, died, bringing his subspecies to the brink of extinction. As scientists work to resurrect the rhino through experimental and controversial biotechnologies, Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg “brings back to life” a male northern white rhino using data generated by artificial intelligence to ask the question “what errors in reproduction may arise as we recreate life artificially?” As it habituates to its environment, the rhino’s form and sound toggle from pixelated to lifelike—reminding us that this rhino, coming to life without its natural context, is entirely artificial.

Cooper Hewitt Education Department
7
 

Ultraboost Shoe, 2016-Ongoing

Cooper Hewitt Education Department
9
 

Graviky Lab's Air-Ink, 2013-ongoing

Responding to the pollution in cities caused by carbon emissions from vehicles, Graviky Labs founder Anirudh Sharma has developed a device that can be attached to exhaust pipes to capture the tiny particles in exhaust. Once captured, this fine particulate matter can be converted into water-resistant ink, a nearly pure carbon pigment.

Cooper Hewitt Education Department
6
 

Alaska Native Technologies: Bolas

Coming soon!

Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska
1
 

Salmon Give Life: Learning from Alaska’s First Peoples

There are five species of salmon in Alaska, and they are a vital food source for people living a subsistence lifestyle today and in the past. Alaska Natives determined that salmon skin, carefully processed, was a durable and waterproof material for clothing, and they used it to make bags, boots, mittens and parkas. Some artists continue to use this material in their work. The curriculum below consists of five activity-based lessons and will teach students about subsistence, with a focus on salmon, and how Alaska Natives utilize local resources to survive and thrive. The two videos referred to in curriculum Lesson 3 are provided below and are part of a 10-video set on this site in the Community Videos section, titled Sewing Salmon videos.

Tags: Alaska, Alaska Native, Indigenous, salmon, subsistence, traditional ecological knowledge, salmon skin, museum, museum objects, artifacts, Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska

Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska
7
 

Environmental Advocacy through Art

This collection was designed to enable students to reflect deeply on their understanding of local and global human impacts on the planet and how they can inspire others to care about/collectively work to solve one of these issues.  Students will use Project Zero Thinking Routines to examine various pieces of environmental art before they create their own visual call to action focused on the environmental issue that they care most about.

Global Competency Connection:

  • This project was designed to be the culminating learning experience in a high school Environmental Science class, thus it is the expectation that students have “investigated the world” as they explored environmental and social issues throughout the course.  
  • This project will incorporate a level of choice as students “communicate their ideas” on the environmental issue that resonated most with them.
  • As a part of the project, students will share their campaigns with their teachers, peers, and families, and through this awareness raising thus “take action” on issues of global significance.

Using the Collection: A detailed description of daily activities can be found within the "Lesson Sequence" document. Additionally, notes regarding the use of each Project Zero Thinking Routine are documented as annotations within each individual Thinking Routine tile and provide specific instructions on how align these routines with this collection.  

#GoGlobal #ProjectZero #EnvironmentalScience

Aleah Myers
40
 

How Birds Stay Warm with Ornithologist Sahas Barve

How do birds stay warm, especially in some of the coldest places on Earth, like the Himalayas? Explore the science behind how bird feathers help them conserve body heat with Smithsonian ornithologist (bird nerd) Sahas Barve from the National Museum of Natural History. Sahas will explain the different parts of a feather, and the science behind feathers, and also help students identify patterns in feathers. He will show students how to make predictions, based solely on feathers, on the kind of climate a bird lived in. Students will also learn how birds use metabolic processes to essentially “shiver” to generate body heat when feathers aren’t enough. Sahas studies how birds stay warm across Earth’s highest mountain range, the Himalayas, and will use specimens and examples from his research throughout the program.

Maggy Benson
13
 

Narwhal: Revealing an Arctic Legend

These resources were developed for use with the Smithsonian's exhibition Narwhal; Revealing an Arctic Legend. For more information about this traveling exhibition, please visit the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES).

Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service
50
 

HIV/AIDS Art

Anna Rabin
14
 

Grasshopper - Lesson

  • Compare and Contrast the Eastern Lubber Grasshopper to the Conehead Grasshopper


    • Colors
    • Ability to move
    • Shape and size
  • Explore grasshopper's mouth pieces that are used for grinding 

This collection was created by Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center faculty member. #SEECStories

Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center
7
 

Bison, Zebras, and Kangaroos - Smithsonian Collection

This collection was created by Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center faculty member. #SEECStories

Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center
44
 

STEAM: Cross-curricular Connections for Young Learners

Artwork, museums, and the community are powerful resources that bring concepts to life with young children. This collection provides examples of how to utilize museums and the community to explore STEM concepts through artwork. 

This collection was created by a Smithsonian Early Enrichment faculty member to support a webinar with the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access, presented in October  24, 2018.  


Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center
81
 

Movement

This collection uses Eric Carle's book From Head to Toe to explore how animals and people move. To talk about the book with your child, first read From Head to Toe together (or watch the video in the first box). Next, let your child look at the other animals on the webpage and decide what he/she wants to explore. Encourage conversation and exploration!

This collection was created by Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center faculty member. #SEECStories

Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center
27
 

Movement

This collection uses Eric Carle's book From Head to Toe to explore how animals and people move. To talk about the book with your child, first read From Head to Toe together (or watch the video in the first box). Next, let your child look at the other animals on the webpage and decide what he/she wants to explore. Encourage conversation and exploration!


Maureen Leary
27
 

Preventing the Dodo: Unveiling Animal Conservation Stories

What stories do the animals on the American Trail at the Smithsonian's National Zoo tell? Students will use the Project Zero Global Thinking Routine Unveiling Stories to uncover and consider the complexity around conservation. I asked students to consider more than just what is the initial story. I wanted to know what they thought the human and world stories might be. With the success of these animals I wanted students to also consider what the new and untold stories that might remain. The Unveiling Stories thinking routine is a great way to explore the complicated stories of the gray wolf, bald eagle, beaver,  North American river otter, and wood duck. #goglobal

Ellen Rogers
39
 

Looking at the Moon

Talk with Me!

Having conversations with young children contributes to their thinking and language development. All conversations are good, but research shows that the quality of words children hear matters more than the quantity. Further, what’s best is an exchange; in other words, talk with children, not at them.

The Talk with Me Toolkits give parents and caregivers thematically organized high-quality, authentic materials to make children their conversational partners in discussions that matter. Each online toolkit features captivating videos and real-world photographs, as well as intriguing paintings and other artworks to observe and discuss through conversation prompts.  Hands-on activities and books complete each toolkit. Simple instructions appear right in the toolkits, so you can jump right in. See what interests your child and get started. There’s a lot to talk about!

To read more, see, from the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Usable Knowledge site, The Brain-Changing Power of Conversation.


Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center
19
 

Living Systems

Diverse living organisms fill our planet with beauty and wonder.  Plants, animals and many other creatures may seem to exist on their own, when in reality they are interdependent with the world that surrounds them, living and non-living.  Co-existing with other plants, animals, and man, each living organism is part of a grand, intricately woven web and system that allows for the flow of energy, food and life. Producers, consumers, predators and prey play vital roles in sustaining life on Earth.  This collection provides the opportunity to consider how each organism affects others. A Harvard University Project Zero routine has been included.

Nancy Butler
27
 

What does it mean to be human in the Anthropocene?

This collection was designed to serve as a bridge between the high school biology units of evolution and ecology as students explore the evolution of humanity through both a biological and moral lens.  Students will use Project Zero Thinking Routines to examine various artifacts from the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History as they grapple with answering the overarching question: What does it mean to be human in the Anthropocene?  #GoGlobal

What does it mean to be human in the Anthropocene? : Students answer/revise their initial answers to the overarching question after gaining additional knowledge from various learning activities: 

  • Claim/Support/Question:  Students use the Claim/Support/Question thinking routine to frame their thinking around and grapple with this question.
  • Skull Analysis > Human Evolution Misconceptions: After the discussion on human evolution misconceptions, students can revise their thoughts on "what it means to be human" and begin to develop a class list on the characteristics shared by humans.
  • Constructing an Ancestral Timeline: After constructing their timeline, students will have gained additional an understanding of specific morphological and behavioral characteristics of humans. 

Using this Collection: 

  • Detailed suggestions on how to implement the learning activities are found in the "information" section of each of the Blue Activity Tiles as well as the Project Zero Thinking Routine Tiles.
  • Notes regarding the use of each Project Zero Thinking Routine are documented as annotations within each individual Thinking Routine tile and provide specific instructions on how align these routines with this collection.  

Global Competence Connection:

  • Students will be challenged to “investigate the world” both in a modern and prehistoric sense as they explore this the resources in this collection.
  • One goal of this collection is to inspire students to take action as a result of considering the impacts that modern humans have had on the planet. 

Additional Questions Explored through this Collection:

  • What (specific behaviors, adaptations, etc.) allow species to survive?
    • This question can be highlighted during the skull sorting and analysis activities in order to help students review the concepts of adaptation, evolution by natural selection, etc. 
      • Extension: Teachers can project photos of these species in their natural environments and ask students to identify the adaptations that aid them in survival. This exploration can be used to explore full-body morphological differences between humans and non-humans.    
    • This question can also be explored as students analyze the Human Evolution Timeline Interactive. Teachers can ask students to compare and contrast the adaptations of various hominid species and propose ways in which these adaptations aided species to survive in their various environments. 
  • How have climatic changes impacted the survival of species over time?
    • This question can be presented as students explore the Interactive Human Evolution Timeline. The timeline presents data showing how the Earth's climate has fluctuated over the 8 million years of human evolution and highlights the fact that some of the most important milestones in human evolution occurred during the greatest climatic fluctuations. 
    • Teachers can use this exploration to foreshadow upcoming discussions of modern climate change.
  • How fragile is human life?
    • The Human Family Tree and Human Evolution Timeline interactives allow for thoughtful exploration of this question as they provide visualizations of hominid existence, individual species' lifespans in geologic time, and extinctions. 
    • Teachers can highlight the small amount of time that modern humans have existed in comparison to early humans as well as points in history that modern humans were faced with events that nearly caused extinction and ask students to grapple with the fragility of human life.  
  • Why do we matter as humans in the anthropocene?
    • This question serves as the bridge into the study of ecology and human impacts on the environment and challenges students to deeply consider their importance to their world. 


Aleah Myers
32
 

Panda-monium

This is a collection of pandas from around the world.

Kathy Mulder
4
 

Exploring Solar Power at NMAAHC

The National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) is the first museum on the National Mall to be recognized as a LEED Gold building due to its use of renewable energy sources and locally-sourced building materials. LEED or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certifications are granted to buildings and other structures  that meet global standards in areas such as water use, energy efficiency, and use of sustainable materials. One of the ways NMAAHC is using renewable energy is through the use of solar panels on its roof. Although the solar panels are not visible to our visitors, they produce enough energy to power 11 average-sized U.S. homes for a year.

Use this activity to engage your students in a lesson covering solar power, electricity, and the factors that affect its production. 

Keywords: solar, power, STEM, science, LEED, environment, energy, NMAAHC, African American, National Mall

National Museum of African American History and Culture
18
 

The Corona's Cooling Power

The National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) is the first museum on the National Mall to be recognized as a LEED Gold building due to its construction using renewable energy sources and locally-sourced building materials. LEED or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certifications are granted to buildings and other structures  that meet global standards in areas such as water use, energy efficiency, and use of sustainable materials. To minimize energy use, the architects and engineers designed the building to allow lots of natural light inside of the museum. The Corona, the ornamental bronze-colored metal lattice that covers the museum like a crown covers a head, helps to keep the museum cool by allowing some sunlight inside, but by blocking the rest. As a result, the museum uses less electricity for lights and air conditioning. 

But how does it work? Have your students complete the following experiment to find out!

National Museum of African American History and Culture
15
 

Exploring Systems

Systems can be vast or miniscule. They can be man-made or occur in nature. A system can be simple or complex but all systems are have various parts. Each of the parts have functions within the system and each system has its own function (what a part or system is used for is called its function)

In this collection, students investigate a variety of systems by viewing and reading about them. 

This collection can be used in the classroom as students explore the crosscutting concept of systems and system models across a variety of science disciplines. The collection can also be used in a design thinking course or unit or as students undertake engineering projects and explore processes and systems.

This collection is designed for students to use independently either in class or on their own. The collection can also be used as a small group or whole class activity driven by discussion instead of writing.

The task is provided in the first slide in the collection. Extension activities can be applied to the task. One extension is included in the task slide and prompts students to use the Learning Lab to seek out their own example of a system and explain its parts and functions. A more interactive class based extension might be for students to circulate and look for a partner/partners who chose the same system or can find a way to make connections between two or more different systems that they chose. Partnerships/teams can then compare the parts/functions that they have identified and prepare to share with the larger class community.



Sue Pike
36
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