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Found 323 Collections

 

What is Technology?

  • Generative Topic: Technology
  • Essential Questions: How do we define technology?
  • Understanding moves:  Make Connections
  • Thinking routines:  Chalk Talk, Parts, Purposes Complexity, I Used Think...Now I Think


A common misconception among elementary age students is that technology only refers to things powered by electricity.  This experience will guide them to better understanding of technology  and that engineers create technology.  During a Chalk Talk, students explore the question "What is Technology?  Students then use the Parts Purposes Complexity routine to look closely at everyday objects such as a glue stick, scissors, and a stapler.   Teachers can provide the objects for students to observe in the classroom or use the images in this collection.  Students discuss the parts, the materials the object is made of, and the problem it solves as they discover that technology is everywhere around us and engineers are people who create technologies.  Students complete a sort as they decide whether the things in this collection are examples of technology.   After, completing the sort, guide students to define technology as the human use of scientific knowledge to solve problems and that it includes systems and processes.  To assess understanding, students will use "I used to think, now I think " thinking routine .  A Circle of Viewpoints routine could also be used to have students think about the Cotton Gin from the viewpoint of a slave.

#PZPGH

Gary Galuska
13
 

Animal Adaptations

Generative Topic: Animal Adaptations

Essential Questions:  

How do organisms live, grow, respond to their environment and reproduce?  

How and why do organisms interact with their environment and what are the effects of these interactions?  

How can there be so many similarities among organisms yet so many different kinds of plants, animals, and microorganisms?  

What are the roles of organisms in a food chain?   

How do the structures and functions of living things allow them to meet their needs?

What are characteristics that allow populations of animals to survive in an environment?

How does the variation among individuals affect their survival?

Understanding Moves: Describe What's There, Uncovering Complexity, Reason with Evidence

Thinking Moves: See Think Wonder, Parts Purposes Complexities

Lesson Focus:  

Students will investigate that animals have both internal and external structures that serve various functions in growth, survival, behavior, and reproduction and will engage in engineering and design.  Students build a model and use their understanding of how animals are adapted to survive in a particular environment.

Prior Learnings/Connection:

Students have prior knowledge about ecosystems, animal classifications, basic adaptations such as means of obtaining diet, protection, and movement.

Understandings:

Organisms interact in feeding relationships in ecosystems.

Organisms may compete for resources in an ecosystem.

For any particular environment, some kinds of organisms survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.

Populations live in a variety of habitats, and change in those habitats affects the organisms living there.

Other characteristics result from individuals’ interactions with the environment. Many characteristics involve both inheritance and environment.

Many characteristics of organisms are inherited from their parents.

When the environment changes in ways that affect a place’s physical characteristics, temperature, or availability of resources, some organisms survive and reproduce, others move to new locations, yet others move into the transformed environment, and some die.

Populations live in a variety of habitats, and change in those habitats affects the organisms living there.

Aquisition of Knowledge and Skill

Knowledge:

Producers (plants, algae, phytoplankton) make their own food, which is also used by animals (consumers).

Decomposers eat dead plant and animal materials and recycle the nutrients in the system.

Adaptations are structures and behaviors of an organism that help it survive and reproduce. 

Organisms are related in feeding relationships called food chains. Animals eat plants, and other animals eat those animals.

Skills:

Make observations to produce data to serve as the basis for evidence for an explanation of a phenomenon or test a design solution.

Use evidence (e.g. measurements, observations, patterns) to construct an explanation.

Identify the cause and effect relationships that are routinely identified and used to explain change.

Observe and identify structures and behaviors that help an animal survive in its environment.

Present results of their investigations in an organized manner.

Make a claim and supporting it with evidence.

Synthesize information from more than one source.

Assessment Evidence:

Performance Task: 

This collaborative project gives students the opportunity to take part in the systematic practice of engineering and design to achieve solutions to problems. During a life science unit, fourth grade students learn that for any particular environment, some kinds of organisms survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.  Students then apply these core scientific ideas to demonstrate understanding as they design, test, and refine an animal that is well suited to survive in its environment. By integrating content with practice, students are better able to make sense of science.

Presentation:

Students will create a  presentation in which they showcase their Animal design and explain how it is well adapted to survive in its environment.

Learning Activities:

During See Think Wonder students engage in observation of  animals as the foundation for greater insight into structure and function.  Students first look closely at an animal to fully observe and notice before interpreting.  Then students can begin to make interpretations based on their observations.  Students use Smithsonian Collection resources, such as videos, 3D models with pins/annotations, articles to further explore blue crab structures and behaviors and how they help the animal survive in its environment.   Students then use Parts Purposes Complexities routine to develop understanding of the concept of adaptation - a structure or behavior that improves an organism's chance of survival.  Students study the blue crab environment and as they consider how people changing the crabs' environment have affected the blue crab population.  To assess understanding, students complete the Animal Adaptations design challenge.

#PZPGH

Gary Galuska
15
 

Women's History Initiative Poster Selections

The works in this collection are under consideration for the SAAM/NPG posters promoting the Smithsonian's American Women's History Initiative.

John McBride
13
 

SSYAC 2018/2019 Meeting 1 - National Air and Space Museum

The first meeting of the third cohort of the SSYAC (2018-2019) will be held at the National Air and Space Museum on October 24, 2018. The meeting will be out of this world.  We'll begin by playing a "break-out box" game in the Moving Beyond Earth gallery. Can you help Dr. Skorton solve the space history clues to UNLOCK the mysteries of the universe? OR will we be lost in space? Next, we'll meet Dr. Ellen Stofan, Director (and Scientist), National Air and Space Museum (NASM). We'll hear about plans to renovate the museum--and what it takes to be the world's most visited museum. Next, since it's our very first meeting of the new SSYAC year, we'll take a moment to greet friends--both old and new. Secretary Skorton will discuss this year's SSYAC agenda, and answer some of the questions that you posed to him in your applications. Finally, we'll take a group photo. If you have any questions--do not hesitate to reach out to Tracie Spinale, tspinale(AT)si.edu or your Affiliate Coordinator. 

Tracie Spinale
18
 

SSYAC 2018/2019 Meeting 2 - Smithsonian American Art Museum

The second meeting of the third cohort of the SSYAC (2018-2019) will be held at the Smithsonian American Art Museum on November 19, 2018. 

We'll meet Stephanie Stebich, Director, SAAM and Renwick Gallery.  We'll hear about the history and function of the museum, and think about the role of science in the preservation of art. We'll visit behind-the-scenes at the Lunder Center for Conservation, where Amber Kerr, Chief of Conservation, will share her innovative research using infrared reflectography and ultraviolet-induced luminescence on the paintings of DC-artist Alma Thomas. Ms. Kerr will also talk to the group about the conservation of plastics which make-up the Renwick's Game Fish sculpture.

Our dialogue with the Secretary will focus on: 

 In today’s world, what are your concerns—both national and at a local community level? How can a cultural institution like the Smithsonian help to address those issues? 

Tracie Spinale
13
 

SSYAC 2018/2019 Meeting 3 - Smithsonian Institution Libraries - Cullman Natural History (Rare Books)

Leslie Overstreet, Rare Books Curator provides an overview of the Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library of Natural History—its significance and purpose. We'll view up to ten rare books, and Leslie will provide an overview of their significance, focusing on how art books in this library support scientific research—not just for the natural history museum scientists, but for the entire field of natural history. A discussion with the Secretary follows:

  • What role do libraries have today—how has it changed? (SIL mission to save and share our stories for future generations) 
  • Are public libraries still relevant to teens? What about high school libraries?
  • How are libraries adapting themselves to be relevant to youth and teens in a digital world?
    Sara Cardello will share examples of youth engagement through the Unstacked Museum in a Box interactive, and Chaptour Guides Program. 
Tracie Spinale
46
 

SSYAC 2018/2019 Meeting 4 - Smithsonian Science Education Center

The fourth meeting of the third cohort of the SSYAC (2018-2019) will be held at the Smithsonian Science Education Center on February 6, 2019. Dr. Carol O'Donnell will lead the group in an activity which investigates How can we provide freshwater to those in need? 

Secretary Skorton and group will participate in a water activity based upon Smithsonian Science for the Classroom and will learn about the Smithsonian Global Goals project.

Tracie Spinale
10
 

Egyptian Art: The Great Pyramids

This collection explores the importance and significance of pyramids in the Egyptian culture. Throughout this collection, not only will we learn about the pyramids, but we will also realize the connection that runs between religion, music and art that can be found in relation to the early Egyptian pyramids. My collection explores the Early Egyptian culture and the important aspects of the culture that stem from the significance of pyramids. It contains the structure of the pyramids (exterior and interior), religious texts found in the pyramids, the funeral procession and what that entails (music, prayer/priests and dancing) and the different types of pyramids. (I added a few extra pics just for reference).

Sydney Johnson
8
 

Exploring the Amazing World of Lichens

This collection supports the free Smithsonian Science How webcast, Exploring the Amazing World of Lichens featuring Dr. Manuela Dal Forno, scheduled for March 28, 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 March 28, 2019. Sign up and view the program here: https://naturalhistory.si.edu/...  

Maggy Benson
22
 

Patents and Design ideas

Goal:  Students will see the importance in how patents and designs are drawn and created before they begin to make their own.  

Introduction:  Students are shown a picture of a sewing machine, but in the patent form.  Have them try to guess what it is.  Discuss why detailed drawings are important and how it helps in creating a design for an idea.  

Students use the see think wonder routine to work with other photos of patents and designs and figure out what they are.  Students will then watch a short film clip to see how inventors got inspired.  

Wrap up with an "I use to think, but now I think" discussion about how important designs are and being detailed can make a difference in a drawing.  

This could take one or two class periods as a short introduction before jumping into a designing project.

Nicole Wilkinson
9
 

Exploring Fossil Ammonoids

This collection can be used as a pre- and post-resource to support the free Smithsonian Science How webcast, Exploring Fossil Ammonoids with Paleobiologist Lucy Chang. During the 30-minute program, your students will have an opportunity to interact with the scientist through live Q&A and polls. 

This collection contains objects from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Many of the specimens in this collection are fossil ammonoids, but other mollusks are included for comparison. Also included in the collection is a companion worksheet for students (with teacher key) to express their newly gained knowledge about ammonoids.  

Ammonoids are an extinct group of marine mollusks that belong to the subclass Ammnoidea and the class Cephalopoda. A popular and well-known subgroup of ammonoids are ammonites. The closest living relatives of ammonoids are also cephalopods like squids, octopods, and cuttlefish, while the modern nautilus is more distantly related.   

Ammonoids had shells made of calcium carbonate just like today’s snails, clams, oysters, and other shelled mollusks. Ammonoid shells varied in shape and size. Some ammonoids had tightly coiled shells (planispiral), while others had uncoiled, irregularly shaped shells (heteromorphs). Regardless of shape or size, the shell provided the ammonoid with protection and possibly camouflage. 


Ammonoid shells had interior walls (septa) that created chambers inside of the shell. These chambers were connected by a narrow tube structure called a siphuncle. The ammonoid could use the siphuncle to control the amount of gas and fluid in each chamber, giving it the ability to achieve neutral buoyancy and move about in the marine environment.  


Although ammonoid shells are abundant in the fossil record, there is an extremely poor record of their soft parts being preserved or fossilized. Based off of their relationships to mollusks alive today, ammonoids likely had bodies that were soft. The animal would have lived exclusively in the last chamber of its shell with numerous arms extending in a ring around its mouth, eating plankton and detritus, dead or decaying matter. Scientists study the shapes and patterns of ammonoid shells and related species, fossil and modern, to learn about the extinct animal.  


Ammonoids lived around the globe and were present on earth for a very long time, about 350 million years. The entire group went extinct at the end of the Cretaceous, about 66 million years ago, along with the dinosaurs.  


The abundance of ammonoids in the fossil record and their long history on earth make them good fossils to study. Geologists use ammonoid fossils as guide or index fossils, helping to date the rock layers from which the fossils were found. Paleobiologists can use fossil ammonoids to learn about patterns of extinction and glean information about the group's evolutionary history.

Maggy Benson
24
 

Black History Month - Celebrating the Rich Cultural History of our Country

This Learning Lab uses interactive virtual tours, videos, images, and much more to Celebrate the Rich Cultural History of African American History in honor or Black History Month.

Students can explore this Learning Lab independently. Learning exercises and worksheets have been provided to help enhance the exploration of the content for the NMAAHC Black Superheroes 

Wakanda Learning Lab is this? #SJ2019LP

Kara MontgomeryRoa
29
 

Our World By Design

Our World by Design highlights objects from Cooper Hewitt's 2018 ad campaign. Each object brings awareness to the critical role design plays in enabling people to engage and interact in the world.

Cooper Hewitt Education Department
18
 

orchids

RL Maiden
5
 

African rock art images - plants and leaves

This collection allows you to explore the various plant characteristics using African rock art images as data. The images include both rock art images and images of plant fossils. Use the accompanying exploration guide available on www.visibilityinstem.com to explore the plant images. For some of these images you will have to go directly to the site in order to see the images of plants at the bottom of the image. 

Catherine Quinlan
28
 

how hurricanes change the environment

#CIEDigitalStoryTelling

MARCUS MURRAY
25
 

The Chronicles of Goldie and Ollie

#CIEDigitalStoryTelling

#digitalstorytelling 

Valeria Suarez
22
 

Access Series: Flying Things

This topical collection of airplanes, hot air balloons, space craft, and other things that fly, was originally used in a collage art activity (printed out; using paper, glue, and art materials). It was used as a discussion prompt in an informal learning activity with a group of teens with cognitive disabilities during a summer camp program--as pre-museum visit preparation to artifacts that would be found at an airplane museum. Other suggested uses beyond collage and discussion prompts would be a writing exercise, "If you could fly anywhere, where would you go and what would you do?" Use the visible thinking routine, "See|Think|Wonder" as a starting point for the writing prompt, and the images for inspiration.

Tags: decision-making, self-determination, student empowerment, disability, all access digital arts program

Tracie Spinale
100
 

Access Series: Animals - Domestic and Wild!

This topical collection of artworks is all about animals—domestic pets, and wild, untamed beasts. Horses, elephants, dinosaurs, zebras, pandas...cats, hogs, frogs, dogs, lions, tigers, and bears; fish and fowl, monkeys that howl - you'll find all of them here. This collections was originally used in a collage art activity (printed out; using paper, glue, and art materials), and as a discussion prompt in an informal learning activity with a group of teens with cognitive disabilities during a summer camp program. Other suggested uses beyond collage and discussion prompts would be a writing exercise, "Which animals have you seen before and where did you see them? If you could have any one of these animals as a pet, which would you choose and why?" Use the visible thinking routine, "See|Think|Wonder" as a starting point for the writing prompt, and the images for inspiration.


Tags: Decision Making, Disabilities, Self-Determination, Self-Efficacy, Student Empowerment, All Access Digital Arts Program

Tracie Spinale
278
 

Access Series: Great Face! Portraits and Photo Composition

Taking a great portrait is more than just taking a quick snap of a face. It requires thoughtful contemplation and a variety of choices by the photographer. This is a collection of photographs that illustrate various principles of portrait photography: angles (eye-level, high angle, low angle, and bird's eye), light and shadow, framing, and shot length (long-shot, medium-shot, close-up, & extreme close-up); As well as mood--capturing a feeling or emotion in a photograph; scale--how big or small subjects look; and sense of place--capturing the feeling of a place. Click into each photo and on the "paper clip" annotation icon to read more information and complete challenges.

Tags: portrait photography, decision-making, self-determination, student empowerment, disability, All Access Digital Arts Program

Tracie Spinale
56
 

ACCESS SERIES | Nile, Nile Crocodile

IMPORTANT: Click on the "i" for information icon and the paperclip icons as you move through the collection.

Exploring: Ancient Egypt, the Nile River, and glass museum objects, papercraft, and sand art

Rationale for Instruction:

  • Through the introduction, museum visit, and activities, students connect with an ancient and diverse culture in ways both conceptual and concrete. The ancient Egyptians shaped our modern civilization in fundamental ways and left legacies that are still present today. 

Objectives:

  • Explain features of the daily life of an Ancient Egyptian living on the Nile River, including boat transportation, dress, and animal life. 
  • Explore the ancient origins of glass making in Egypt.
  • Examine how glass making relates to object making, animal representation, and the desert environment of Egypt
  • Plan, create, and share digital and physical works of art that represent ancient (sand art) and modern art forms (digital photography with filters) as well as representational art (papercraft) landscape.

EDUCATORS | For the LESSON PLAN of the original "Nile, Nile Crocodile" << CLICK HERE >>

SET THE STAGE:

  • Maps - Look at the maps in the Smithsonian collection; Where do you think you'll journey to in this collection?
  • "This is Sand" App - an tablet app that changes the pixels on the screen into digital sand.
  • Video about The Nile (for learners who prefer a concrete example)
  • Thought journey down the Nile River; Ask questions about observations along the way. If you are able to transform the furniture to reflect a boat, do so. 
  • Glass making video as well as a primary source text from 1904 (for learners who prefer a concrete example); Help make the connection between the desert sand environment and glass making. 

MUSEUM "VISIT"

  • Go to the gallery; read the panels and explore the objects. The gallery has been re-created in the Learning Lab collection
  • Explore the glass vessels-->What do you notice?
  • Observe the glass animals-->Take turns reading the informational texts; What do the animals represent?

~ BREAK ~

ACTIVITY STATIONS (rotate between activity stations)

  • SAND ART - Create your own ancient Egyptian glass vessel through a sand art design similar to the decorated glass in the museum.
  • "ANCIENT" PHOTOS - Use digital tablets to take photos in a museum gallery and use the built-in filters to create 'ancient-looking' photos like the ones that document historic museum excavations. 
  • PAPERCRAFT LANDSCAPE - Create a three-dimensional landscape of ancient Egypt based on the animals and structures observed in the museum gallery and in the introductory materials. Templates and examples are included. Document your results using photography.

Tags: decision-making, self-determination, access, disability, accessibility, neurodiversity, special education, SPED, out of school learning, informal learning, cognitive, social skills, engagement, passion, creativity, empowerment, All Access Digital Arts Program

Tracie Spinale
120
 

ACCESS SERIES | Galaxy Quest

IMPORTANT: Click on the "i" for information icon and the paperclip icons as you move through the collection.

Have you ever wondered what's going on out there in the universe? Would you like to discover exciting things about planets, stars, and galaxies? Today, we will go on a GALAXY QUEST to EXPLORE THE UNIVERSE!

RATIONALE | Digital technology has transformed how we explore the Universe. We now have the ability to peer into space right from our homes and laptop computers. Telescopes, photography, and spectroscopy remain the basic tools that scientists—astronomers and cosmologists—use to explore the universe, but digital light detectors and powerful computer processors have enhanced these tools. Observatories in space—like the Hubble Space Telescope—have shown us further into space then we have ever seen before.

EDUCATORS | For the LESSON PLAN of the original "Galaxy Quest" << CLICK HERE >>

Lesson Objectives:
1. Process and save at least one digital image of a galaxy or space image (with caption)
2. Create a three-dimensional astronomy sculpture (galaxy or other space body, space alien, plant, animal)
3. Create a digital astronomy sculpture (galaxy or other space body, space alien, plant, animal)
4. Visit the Explore the Universe exhibition at NASM and identify Hubble parts (mirror, lens, spectroscope)

Learning Objectives:
1.     What a galaxy is
2.     What a space telescope is
3.     Learn how to open an image on the computer and process it
4.     Socialize well in the museum setting


Tags: decision-making, self-determination, access, disability, accessibility, neurodiversity, special education, SPED, out of school learning, informal learning, cognitive, social skills, engagement, passion, creativity, empowerment, All Access Digital Arts Program 


Tracie Spinale
77
 

ACCESS SERIES | Through the Lens of Curiosity

IMPORTANT: Click on the "i" for information icon and the paperclip icons as you move through the collection.

All Access Club Explores the Microscopic World. If you cannot see something, does that mean that it is not there? Nope! Just lurking under the surface of common, everyday objects is an entire world that we normally cannot see. People just like you can use microscopes to discover things that need magnification in order to view.  The collection is part of an activity series that explores this mysterious microscopic world.

EDUCATORS | For the LESSON PLAN of the original "Through the Lens of Curiosity"  << CLICK HERE >>

In this collection you will:

  • Find out about the world through the use of microscopes and magnifiers
  • Take on the role of detective as you embark on a quest to solve 5 mysteries -- by making observations about up-close objects and reading clues, can you figure out what the whole object is?
  • In the game A Part of the Whole, use your power of observation to consider the structures and functions of up-close objects to guess what they might be. Again, you will look at part of an object--photographed up-close--to guess at the whole.

If it is possible to set-up a hand's-on experience with microscopes along with the online activities -- the tactile portion will enhance the online activity. Teens can also view a video about scanning electron microscopes by a young scientist in the 'extension section'.

Keywords: decision-making, self-determination, access, disability, accessibility, neurodiversity, special education, SPED, out of school learning, informal learning, cognitive, social skills, engagement, passion, creativity, empowerment, All Access Digital Arts Program 

Tracie Spinale
64
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