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Found 595 Collections


Design It Yourself: Design a Habitat

Follow along to design a habitat that can exist within an urban space.

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Design It Yourself: Design a Green Roof

Follow along to design a green roof or roof garden that will help keep a city or building cool.

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Design It Yourself: Design Transportation

Follow along to design a way to make transportation more comfortable. 

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Remnants from the exploration of space

Clothing, spacecraft, tools, and mementos to better understand the achievement of space exploration.  

David S. Ball

DCPS Rocks and Minerals Cornerstone

Grade 4: Rocks and Minerals

Rocks and minerals play an important role in the natural world and human society. This collection will allow you to step into the role of a museum geologist and help you learn how to closely examine a museum specimen. To start, look through the 12 specimens to learn more about their unique properties. Select your favorite and use your new knowledge to complete the student worksheet. 

Additional Resources in this Learning Lab


  • Rock Types: This short video with geologist Dr. Ben Andrews will take you through the 3 types of rocks.
  • Mineral Dependence: Gemstones to Cellphones: In this 30 minute video, Dr. Mike Wise will teach you about unusual rocks called pegmatites and the large mineral crystals they contain. Find out how you depend on pegmatites for everyday uses, such as operating your cellphone.


  • Coming soon! A narrated virtual tour of the Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems, and Minerals. Until then, click here for a self-guided virtual exploration of the hall!
Nicole Webster


this slow?!

jen stebbing


jen stebbing

No One Should Be Afraid of Big Beautiful Wolves

I created this collection for families to do together while schools are closed. I will be making a collection a day while we are out of school. Today we will be exploring Wolves. The idea is for families to look at the items in the collection and consider what they see in the objects and paintings, what they think, and what they wonder. Families can also watch a videos about wolves, read articles about wolves and listen to two podcast episodes about wolves. At the end of the collection I have provided a few ideas for families about what to do next.

If you want to learn more about more about See Think Wonder you can click here to see a video of a teacher using the routine in her classroom.

Ellen Rogers


jen stebbing

¡Descubra! Hispanic Heritage

This collection features bilingual (English/Spanish) activities from ¡Descubra!, the Smithsonian Latino Center’s national public education program for kids, teens, and families. These activities were featured at previous Smithsonian Latino Center Hispanic Heritage festivals celebrating Latino art, music, and cultures. These resources can serve teachers and students grades 2-5, 6-8, and high school Spanish.

The activities help participants place themselves in the role of an artist, whether a poet, musician, or sculptor. There are also fun activities for caregivers and families in capturing family music memories through oral histories and archiving special memories with photographs. Through active learning and problem solving, students are fully engaged and better able to understand concepts being presented. This collection also includes video performances and interviews with Latino animators, artists, curators, dancers, and even educators, among others.  

¡Descubra! Hispanic Heritage promotes Latino arts and culture contributions while showcasing opportunities to become involved in cultural representation and different interests in these areas.

Esta colección resalta actividades bilingües de ¡Descubra!, el programa nacional educativo del Centro Latino Smithsonian para niños, adolecentes y familias. Estas actividades fueron presentadas en festivales de herencia hispana previos del Centro Latino Smithsonian que celebraban arte, música y cultura hispana. Estos recursos les pueden servir a maestros y estudiantes de grados 2-5, 6-8, y de clases de español de preparatoria (high school).

Las actividades ayudan a participantes imaginase en un papel de artista, fuese un poeta, un músico o escultor. Encontrará actividades divertidas para cuidadores y familias que captan memorias musicales de familia a través de entrevistas y otra sobre como archivar memorias especiales con fotos. A través del aprendizaje y resolviendo problemas, los estudiantes pueden entender mejor las ideas que se les presentan. Esta colección también incluye videos de presentaciones y entrevistas de animadores, artistas, bailarines, curadores y hasta educadores, además de otros.

¡Descubra! Hispanic Heritage resalta las contribuciones de la comunidad hispana al arte y la cultura estadounidense mientras promueve oportunidades para involucrarse en la representación cultural y las diferentes áreas dentro del campo.

Smithsonian Latino Center

Panamanian Passages | Pasajes Panameños

This collection highlights the science, geography, cultural contributions, including those of native peoples of Panama, and the 20th century history of Panama. This includes the science and geography of the Isthmus, the Panama Canal, the U.S. in Panama and US expansionism and cross-cultural exchange. It will give students an opportunity to learn an overview of U.S. history in Latin America and Panamanian contributions to world history.  The collection includes bilingual (English and Spanish) activities for middle school and high school students including a scavenger hunt like worksheet and discussion questions for group conversations or individual essay statements that focus on historical inquiry-based learning. 

Esta colección bilingüe resalta la ciencia, la geografía y las contribuciones culturales, incluyendo las de comunidades indígenas y las de la historia del siglo 20, de Panamá. La colección incluye la ciencia y la geografía del istmo, el Canal de Panamá, el expansionismo estadounidense y los intercambios culturales entre ambos. Les dará a los estudiantes una oportunidad de aprender un resumen de la historia estadounidense en Latinoamérica y las contribuciones panameñas a la historia mundial. La colección incluye actividades bilingües para estudiantes de secundaria y preparatoria incluyendo una hoja de ejercicios con un juego de tesoro y preguntas de discusión en grupo. También incluye preguntas para ensayos.

Smithsonian Latino Center

Sea Lions

Sea Lion information and activity sheets to augment lesson plans for elementary and middle school children. The collection also includes a printable brochure about sea lions and conservation.


Photographer: Muray, Nickolas


The Nickolas Muray collection at the NMAH Photographic History Department includes  six bromide and forty-six color-carbro photographs. They range in subject from commercial photography to portraits of famous individuals spanning from the 1920s through the early 1960s.

 Additional photographs by Muray can be found in the Learning Lab collection containing stills of Hollywood movie stars.

For additional collections, search

Keywords: advertising photography, dance photography, performance photography, magazine work, color carbro photography, color photography, platinum photography, dancers, dance photography, food photography

NMAH Photographic History Collection

Photographer: Blossfeldt, Karl


This is a collection of works by Karl Blossfeldt from the Photographic History Collection.

For additional images, search

Keywords: art of nature, plant photography, biology, botany, trees, plants, flowers, succulents, photo mechanical, rotogravure

NMAH Photographic History Collection

Exploring Biominerals with Collections from the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum

This is a collection created to explore biological minerals, also called biominerals. Biominerals are formed by living organisms by a process called "biomineralization."  Humans create minerals: We build our bones with a mineral called apatite. Mollusks create minerals, too: their shells! Corals create mineral skeletons, which are built up over time to create the marine architecture we call a coral reef.  Corals are composed of small polyps, which build up their hard skeletons out of a mineral called aragonite, which is also called calcium carbonate.  Even some species of algae create a mineral called barite, which is present in their tissue. Bones, shells, and teeth are common examples of biominerals. 

This collection contains two types of minerals: 1) naturally occurring minerals, minerals created by the Earth's natural processes and 2) biominerals, minerals created by living organisms.  

ACTIVITIES to do with this collection:

1. Download the Student Worksheet and use this collection to complete it.

2. Find the inorganic and biomineral versions of each of the following minerals. Once you have found them, download the "See Think Wonder" worksheet in this collection and fill it out, while comparing the two minerals. 

- Aragonite and calcite (look for mollusks, corals, echinoderms)  

- Apatite (look for bones, teeth)

- Barite (look for algae)

- Silica (look for diatoms, sponges, grasses)


3. Learn a little more about each object by clicking on it, then clicking on the "info" button. Where was it found? When was it found? What do you notice about it? What do you wonder about it?

Maggy Benson

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

Humans and the Footprints We Leave: Smithsonian-Montgomery College Faculty Fellowship 2020 Opening Panel Resources

This collection serves as an introduction to the opening panel of the 2020 Smithsonian-Montgomery College Faculty Fellowship Program. This year's theme is “Humans and the Footprints We Leave: Climate Change and Other Critical Challenges." Three Smithsonian staff members will present at the session, including Igor Krupnik (Curator of Arctic and Northern Ethnology collections and Head of the Ethnology Division at the National Museum of Natural History), Alison Cawood (Citizen Science Coordinator at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center), and Ashley Peery (Educator for the exhibition "Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World, " at the National Museum of Natural History). Their bios, presentation descriptions, and other resources are included inside.

As you explore these resources, be sure to jot down any questions you have for the presenters. It is sure to be a fascinating and fruitful seminar series!


Philippa Rappoport

Human Evolution - Human Diets

This Smithsonian Science How learning collection, from Q?rius at the National Museum of Natural History, is part of a distance learning program at This collection focuses on the significance diet for human evolution. Targeted at middle schoolers, the collection invites students into an authentic understanding of the evidence for early meat-eating in humans. Anthropologist Dr. Briana Pobiner is featured as an expert explainer. The collection includes an interactive webcast video with discussion questions, cross-cutting activities, an independent project, and other resources for teachers and students.

Key Terms: paleoanthropology, fossil, archaeology, human evolution, extinction, taxonomy, phylogeny

Key Concepts:

- What it means to be human

- Diet and culture of early humans

- Interpreting the family tree of humans

- Factors shaping human evolution

- Technology used by paleoanthropologists

Sara Abbott

Art and the Electromagnetic Spectrum

This lesson will help students understand applications of electromagnetic radiation in art conservation. In particular, students will learn art conservators use ultraviolet, infrared, visible light, and x-radiation to examine artwork. Properties of each form of radiation and its uses in art conservation will be introduced. Students will then solve problems. 

You will find guiding questions included in the additional info section of each artwork.

Shantelle Jones-Williams

Spark!Lab Invention Process (Watson/Shopping Cart)

Explore Spark!Lab's invention steps through the process of a real inventor, Orla Watson, who changed grocery shopping for millions of people with his telescoping shopping cart. Then make your own cart with our final invention challenge! Click through each of the items below and be sure to read the information (i) sections


  • Understand the invention process by examining one specific invention 
  • Discover and critically analyze objects and primary sources from the National Museum of American History's archives and collection

The Draper Spark!Lab is a hands-on invention activity center housed at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. Original LL Collection credit: Marie-Louise Orsini

Zach Etsch

Planets of the Solar System

Through this collection, students will deepen their understanding of each planet in our solar system.  Pairing the See, Think, Wonder thinking routine with an embroidered quilt of the solar system will pique students' interest in the dwarf planet, Pluto.  After discovering the year that the quilt was made, students can explore the website to learn the history of Pluto.

Using the provided websites, students will work in groups to research a planet.  They will use the obtained information to write a headline that captures the most interesting aspect of the planet and to create a model of the planet.


Jamie Bonacorso

Photographer: Mather, Margarethe


The Margarethe Mather NMAH Photographic History Collection consists of five platinum print photographs from the 1920s. Photographer Margrethe Mather was a model and source of inspiration for Edward Weston and an established pictorialist and a pioneering modernist in her own right.

For additional images, search

Keywords: women photographers, Pictorialism, platinum photography, palladium photography, Pierrot

NMAH Photographic History Collection
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