Found 402 Learning Lab Collections
Select one artifact in this collection to do "slow looking" using a See, Think, and Wonder.
This collection supports the free Smithsonian Science How webcast, "What's a Lichen? How a Smithsonian Scientist Studies a Unique Symbiosis," scheduled to air on November 14, 2019. Manu is a scientist at the Smithsonian who studies lichens, a lichenologist. She collects lichens from all over the world, depositing them into the U.S. National Herbarium, which is located at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Manu identifies the lichens she collects with observations of how the lichen looks, their DNA data and where they were found.
Lichens are a symbiotic relationship between algae and fungus. They have been on earth for millions of years, living on rocks, trees, and soil in all different habitats on all seven continents. Even though lichens are all around us, scientists are still learning about what they are, where they live, and how many different species of lichens there are.
Fungus is any group of spore-producing organisms feeding on organic matter, and include molds, yeast, mushrooms, and toadstools. Algae is a simple, non-flowering plant. Algae contain chlorophyll and produce sugar through photosynthesis, like other plants, but do not have true stems, roots, leaves, or vascular tissue like most other plants. Lichenization is a fungal lifestyle, and therefore the name of lichen is the name of the fungus component.
When you look at a lichen, what you’re looking at is the “house” that the fungus and algae grow together. Scientists call this house a “thallus.” When algae and fungus come together to form this house, we see a lichen. This partnership is called a symbiotic relationship, because it helps both the fungus and algae survive. Research has shown that lichens are not a natural biological group, meaning they do not all come from a single common ancestor, in other words, lichens have many origins. Currently there are almost 20,000 species of lichenized fungi known.
In this symbiotic relationship, the fungus and algae benefit from being associated with each other. The fungus provides the house, its shelter (the thallus). This shelter helps the algae survive in habitats where it would otherwise be exposed to the elements and possibly could not survive. The algae provide food for the fungus, in the form of sugar. The sugar is a byproduct of photosynthesis that occurs within the algae.
Lichens are very important for the environment. They are an important food source for many animals, provide nest materials for birds, and provide habitat and material for biomimicry for insects and other organisms.
Lichens are also important for humans by providing natural dyes, perfumes, litmus paper, and even food. Humans even use lichens as bio-indicators, organisms that help humans monitor the health of the environment. Some species of lichens are sensitive to environmental pollution, so their presence or absence can help us understand more about the health of the environment, like air quality.
Lichens produce over one thousand different chemical compounds, most of them unique to lichens. These compounds include acids and pigments. Some chemicals may even fluoresce under UV light, making them important components for lichen identification.
Lichens have DNA, which is used to identify lichen and compare relationships amongst and within species. DNA analysis has been an important tool for lichenologists in identifying and understanding the biodiversity of lichens.
Sign up for the Smithsonian Science How webcast to introduce your students to Lichenologist Manuela Dal Forno! The program airs at 11am and 2pm on November 14, 2019. Sign up and view the program here: https://naturalhistory.si.edu/...
Discovery Theater is a pan-institutional museum theater dedicated to bringing theatre to young audiences and general visitors on and off the Mall since 1969. The magic of earth science takes center stage in this fun, interactive Discovery Theater original as we explore the indigenous and modern science behind the greening of the year. Using science, culture and history, we examine humanity’s relationship to the natural ‘new year’ – a time when the earth and its creatures experience the rebirth, regeneration and new growth. Seed germination pairs with the story of Persephone returning from underground; the science and mystery of a simple egg link with new birth and lambs, birds and bunnies tales; the earth science of warming spring weather create a great atmosphere for learning and fun.
Discovery Theater is a pan-institutional museum theater dedicated to bringing theatre to young audiences and general visitors on and off the Mall since 1969. Throughout this amazing intergalactic story, we use science experiments to bring the story to life! In the second part of the show, we go “behind the scenes” of the special effects and recreate the science experiments with the help of volunteers from the audience. Don’t miss this action-packed and educational alien adventure. It's totally out of this world!
Climate change is a huge issue facing our society. Our students have expressed tremendous concerns about the global impact of the climate crisis.
As part of this learning lab, student teams are tasked with designing and prototyping an alternative energy solution for NYC.
Before embarking on their own designs, students will use the resources to learn about earlier climate campaigns, what scientists and engineers are doing today and will explore models, prototypes and solutions that are already existent.
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
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!
The purpose of this project is to see how these artifacts relate to these time periods. How each one has made an impact on the 20s or the 30s.
A collection of artifacts from which our students will choose an object of study for their first project cycle. Student swill be using historical, scientific, literary, mathematical and artistic techniques to help their chosen artifact tell a story of an encounter in history between two groups and/or cultures.
Putting the "A" in STEAM. Can you imagine what doesn't exist but could? Can you visually communicate your vision to others? How can prototyping be used as a tool for exploration, invention and communication.
Our history begins in the modest building that housed Austin’s first library. Built in 1926, this small, wood-framed structure was soon overwhelmed by the demands of its patrons. During this time, the citizens of East Austin, along with the American Association of University Women, began to petition the city about the need for a library in their community. As a result, when a larger central library facility was built in 1933, the original building was moved to its current location on Angelina Street and later resurfaced in brick veneer.
In its early years, the Angelina Street library was simply known as the “Colored Branch”. In 1947, however, it was christened the George Washington Carver Branch Library in honor of the inventor and scientist who brought so much pride to African-Americans. For decades, the Carver Library served the Central-East Austin community, and its patronage and book collection grew steadily.
As patrons increased and space became limited, the need for a larger Carver Branch Library became apparent. Through the efforts of the Central-East Austin Citizens for a New Carver Branch, this issue continued to have a voice. In 1979 a new facility was completed directly adjacent to the original Carver Library.
As for the original building – the community imagined a museum and community center that would promote African-American history and achievement in Austin, Travis County, and beyond. On October 24, 1980, their vision became a reality. What was once Austin’s first library, and then later became Austin’s first branch library, opened its doors as the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center, the first African-American neighborhood museum in of Texas.
In a 1998 bond election, the citizens of Austin voted to further expand both the Carver Museum & Cultural Center and the Carver Branch Library. Today, the museum is housed in a 36,000 square-foot facility that includes four galleries, a conference room, classroom, darkroom, dance studio, 134-seat theatre, and archival space. The galleries feature a core exhibit on Juneteenth, a permanent exhibit on Austin African-American families, an Artists’ Gallery, and a children’s exhibit on African-American scientists and inventors.
The historic building now houses the genealogy center. The museum, cultural and genealogy center is owned and operated by the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department, Division of Museums and Cultural Programs.
#ethnicstudies #africanamericanhistory #georgewashingtoncarver #austintxhistory
This collection was made as a project for a Bachelors and Liberal Studies course. The project is an exhibit of different pictures of angels that represent a form of hope in this collection. We know angels as the protectors of the universe and I selected them for this project to represent those who require protection or will require assistance throughout their lives.
The categories are the Protectors, The Needy, and The Harmed. The Needy are the images who appear to be silenced by their medical restraints. No-one has noticed their pain. The Harmed are the pictures that show African American leaders that were assassinated. They were no angels and although the men were critically protected their lack of protection contributed to their death. Those men were not angels.
The Protectors in this exhibit are the angels that we can and cannot see. The angel images within the rooms we hope and believe them to be within.
What is an entomologist? Through the study of the Edward O. Wilson portrait, our students will explore the career of an ant biologist, study the plants and insects in our community, and create a self-portrait demonstrating their understanding.
- Students will be able to define the role of an entomologist.
- Students will understand the concept of biodiversity.
- Students will be able to classify a living creature as "insect" or "not an insect."
- Students will observe and be able to describe local insects.
- Students will understand the concept of habitat.
- Students will observe and be able to describe native plants.
Assessment: Students will create a self-portrait with a variety of native insects and plants similar to the E. O. Wilson portrait.
This collection was created in conjunction with the National Portrait Gallery's 2019
This collection allows students and teachers to gain an understanding of the Design Thinking process utilizing Cooper Hewitt learning lab resources as well other materials.
Looking for a career in healthcare? Check out these resources to learn more about the different fields in healthcare and what career you should pursue.
This collection brings together EDSITEment and Smithsonian resources to support the initial research into a project for National History Day 2020, "Breaking Barriers in History."
These resources—including, objects, photographs, portraits, lesson plans, and articles—explore how technologies developed in the interest of advancing industrialization during the United States’ Second Industrial Revolution made it possible to overcome economic and social barriers, while, in some cases, unintentionally creating new ones. Innovators who developed technologies and tools to make every day living easier and more enjoyable, along with transportation technologies that broke barriers in terms of travel and movement, are also included in this collection. Users are also asked to consider the legacies of these inventions and their significance to innovation and industrialization through to today. The second resource of this collection contains questions to help with the analysis of a chosen topic alongside photograph, document, artwork, portrait, and object resources.
By no means is this collection comprehensive; instead, it provides a launching point for further research.
This collection was created in collaboration with the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access.
Share your National History Day collections and let us know what you think! Write to us on Twitter: @EDSITEment and @SmithsonianLab, #NHD2020. If you publish a collection on your National History Day topic, be sure to enter #NHD2020 in the description!
Tags: factory, industry, invention, innovator, Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, Alexander Graham Bell, Samuel F. B. Morse, telegraph, Christopher Latham Sholes, typewriter, telephone, communication, technology, workers, labor, International Ladies Garment Workers Union, David Dubinsky, Asa Philip Randolph, John Llewellyn Lewis, Frances Perkins, Samuel Gompers, strike, boycott, union, Transcontinental, railroad, nineteenth century, 19th, twentieth, 20th, #NHD
How do you communicate? Through words? Body language? A facial expression? Explore the different ways people and animals communicate.