Found 409 Learning Lab Collections
Kindergarden-1st--Pick a letter, write a sentence using that letter and illustrate.
2nd-4th--The class takes a topic such as insects and each student takes a page, researches and illustrates it.
5th-12th--Students take a topic (biography, historical topic, memoir about themselves, book that they've read) and creates an alphabet book with each page telling the story or giving information about the subject.
This lesson plan teaches innate and learned animal behavior by having students watch videos of Bao Bao, the Smithsonian National Zoo's panda, and answer questions about her behavior in the videos. The videos range from Bao Bao as a newborn to her first birthday and have quiz questions connected to them to help students better understand how to observe animal behavior. There is a hand out for students to read while watching the videos to better help them answer questions. There is also a chart attached that can be used by the teacher to write down the behavior of Bao Bao in each video in fifteen second increments. This teacher lesson plan can also be adapted to be used as a class assignment, if needed.
Before 1941, there weren't any African American pilots in the United States armed forces. The Tuskegee Airmen changed that. With the United States' entry into World War II imminent, the U.S. Army Air Corps (the predecessor to the U.S. Air Force) decided to offer training to African Americans as pilots and mechanics. Called the Tuskegee Airmen because they trained in Tuskegee, Alabama, these airmen made a pioneering contribution to the war and the subsequent drive to end racial segregation in the American military. This episode of STEM in 30 will look at the role African Americans played during the war and how World War II changed aviation history
February 24, 2016
98 years ago this week, the United States entered World War I. The Wright brothers had only taken to the sky 14 years before, but airplanes still played a vital role in the war effort. Because of the events of WWI, airplane technology developed at an incredible rate. This fast-paced webcast will look at how airplanes changed in this short timeframe, how other technology advanced, and how airplanes were used throughout WWI.
April 8, 2015
This is a Smithsonian Learning Lab topical collection, which contains images, text, recordings, and other multimedia resources that may complement the Tween Tribune feature, Billions of pieces of plastic spread disease in coral reefs. Use these resources to introduce or augment your study of this topic. If you want to personalize this collection by changing or adding content, click the Sign Up link above to create a free account. If you are already logged in, click the copy button to initiate your own version. Learn more here.
In this STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math) inspired STEM in 30, we will look at some of the technological advances of World War I that solidified the airplane's legacy as a fighting machine. In conjunction with the Embassy of Belgium, we'll also dive deep into how the war affected the lives of children in an occupied country and how lace makers helped feed a nation. The episode will also look at present works of art by artist soldiers on display in the Artist Soldiers: Artistic Expression in the First World War exhibition.
April 26, 2017
In celebration of Women's History Month, this collections highlights some of the many accomplished and influential women in science, art, women's rights, and athletics throughout history. This is a Smithsonian Learning Lab topical collection, which contains images, text, recordings, and other multimedia resources that may complement Tween Tribune features for Women's History Month 2018:
Use these resources to introduce or augment your study of this topic. If you want to personalize this collection by changing or adding content, click the Sign Up link above to create a free account. If you are already logged in, click the copy button to initiate your own version. Learn more here.
Students take on a local environmental challenge in the lesson plans of this issue of Smithsonian in Your Classroom. Before deciding on a problem to tackle, they try interviewing local folks about the state of the community's environment and how it has changed through the years.
Click the PDF icon to see the Smithsonian in Your Classroom. Then check out oral-history interviewing tips on the site of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife. Also included below is an audio presentation on deer life by Smithsonian scientist Bill McShea.
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/...
Did you know that training for a spacewalk requires a 6.5 million gallon swimming pool, a team of divers, and a mock-up of the International Space Station? Astronauts have to train for a variety of different jobs they have to do in low Earth orbit. Once on the station, astronauts run science experiments (sometimes on themselves), fix toilets, and run the robotic arm. Do you think you have what takes to complete astronaut training? Find out on this STEM in 30.
February 28, 2018
This collection uses the Harvard Project Zero Visible Thinking routine, highlighting interpretation with justification. The strategy is paired with an artwork from the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Once you have examined the artwork and answered the questions, view an archived webinar with a museum educator to compare your interpretation. How does viewing the artwork with the museum label change your interpretation? How did what you noticed in the artwork compare with what the educators shared?
Suggestions for teachers regarding visual clues for this image are in the "Notes to Other Users" section.
This collection was created in conjunction with the National Portrait Gallery's 2016 Learning to Look Summer Teacher Institute.
Tags: #NPGteach; portrait; National Portrait Gallery
Students will be able to observe the weather and describe what kinds of clothes are appropriate for different kinds of weather. #TWUtech
A collection designed to introduce students to the 19th century whaling industry- one of the biggest industries of the 19th century and the industry which supported industrialization.
- 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.
In this collection students will compare and contrast ecosystems in order to define them.
It can be used as part of a larger study on ecosystems and interconnections.
This collection contains images and videos depicting the biotic and abiotic elements of a desert and rainforest ecosystem. The accompanying note catcher links to an article on ecosystems from National Geographic and a TedTalk about the body as an ecosystem.
Guiding Questions: Students will construct responses to the following guiding questions as they work with this collection:
GQ 1: What is an ecosystem?
GQ 2: What makes a healthy ecosystem?
Big Idea: As students work with this collection to answer the guiding questions, they will understand that an ecosystem is made up of the living and non-living elements of work together to create a bubble of life. Students will learn that all of the elements of an ecosystem are interconnected and that a healthy ecosystem is diverse and well-balanced.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
This is a collection designed to introduce students to the history of aviation as told through the lens of the scientific method-design process. Students begin by thinking about why is flight important in our lives, and how did we get to the airplanes we now know? Students look at the many designs that planes have gone through, and discuss why perseverance and problem-solving are important skills to have. They also see that teamwork, cooperation, and a desire to succeed were necessary for the Wright Brothers to do their important work. Feel free to pick and choose from the resources in creating your own collections:
Overall Learning Outcomes:
- Scientists use trial and error to form conclusions.
- Scientists test hypotheses using multiple trials in order to get accurate results and form strong conclusions.
- Scientists use multiple data and other evidence to form strong conclusions about a topic.
- Scientists work together to apply scientific research and knowledge to create new designs that meet human needs.
- Scientists help each other persevere through mistakes to learn new ideas.
Guiding Questions for Students to Answer from this collection:
- Why is flight important?
- How do scientists solve problems?
- How do scientists collect data to help them solve problems?
Fun fact: During the 20th century, Westinghouse engineers and scientists were granted more than 28,000 US government patents, the third most of any company (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westinghouse_Electric_Company#cite_note-2009profile-14)
A collection of portraits of women that defied conventions of their day. Portraits chosen for this collection could lead to a discussion on the evolution of feminism in the US. It includes several learning to look strategies.
This collection was created in conjunction with the National Portrait Gallery's 2019 Learning to Look Summer Teacher Institute.
A collection of videos, articles and artifacts related to the chemistry of the Red Planet.
What does the weather do to the ocean currents?
Ocean water and currents affect the climate. It takes a greater amount of energy to change the temperature of water than land or air; water warms up and cools off much slower than land or air does. As a result, inland climates are subject to more extreme temperature ranges than coastal climates, which are insulated by nearby water. Over half the heat that reaches the earth from the sun is absorbed by the ocean's surface layer, so surface currents move a lot of heat. Currents that originate near the equator are warm; currents that flow from the poles are cold.
The Great Ocean Conveyor Belt
The great ocean conveyor belt is an example of a density-driven current. These are also called thermohaline currents, because they are forced by differences in temperature or salinity, which affect the density of the water.
The great ocean conveyor belt begins as the coolest of all currents - literally. At the beginning of the conveyor belt:
The Gulf Stream delivers warm, and relatively salty, surface waters north to the Norwegian Sea. There the water gives up its heat to the atmosphere, especially during the frigidly cold winters. The surface waters cool to near freezing temperatures, at which time they become denser than the waters below them and sink. This process continues making cold water so dense that it sinks all the way to the bottom of the ocean.
During this time, the Gulf Stream continues to deliver warm water to the Norwegian Sea on the surface. The water can't very well pile up in the Norwegian Sea, so the deep cold water flows southward. It continues to flow southward, passing the Equator, until it enters the bottom of the Antarctic Circumpolar current. It then drifts around Africa and Australia, until it seeps northward into the bottom of the Pacific.