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Make it Rain!

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Make it Rain! – explores student misconceptions about phase changes, weather, and the water cycle, and reveals some of the pitfalls of common representations.

Photosynthesis: Blinded by the Light

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Photosynthesis: Blinded by the Light – explores student misconceptions about matter and energy in photosynthesis and strategies for eliciting student ideas to address or build on them.

What’s the “Matter” with Cells and Atoms?

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
What’s the “Matter” with Cells and Atoms?  — investigates the difficulties students have with applying ideas about matter consistently and appropriately across the life and physical sciences, and with interpreting and relating different representations of microscopic structures.

Time: It’s Like, So Deep

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Time: It’s Like, So Deep — explores common difficulties with understanding the immensity of the geologic time scale (often referred to as “deep time”) and suggests approaches to help students grapple with this transformative concept.

Chemical Reactions in Action

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Chemical Reactions in Action — explores student misconceptions about atoms, molecules, and chemical reactions and provides practical advice for pedagogical approaches.

‘Tis the Season for a Reason

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
‘Tis the Season for a Reason — investigates common student difficulties in understanding the cause of the seasons as well as common pitfalls and helpful approaches. 

Explore Smithsonian: What Internal Adaptations do Pandas Have to Eat Bamboo?

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
As carnivores, giant pandas shouldn’t really eat bamboo, but they do! Join a Smithsonian curator to explore the internal adaptations of giant pandas for their diet. You’ll also discover what panda poop looks and smells like and how it can be used to track their health.

Explore Smithsonian: How do Scientists use Electricity to Study Fish Populations?

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Travel with a Smithsonian ecologist to discover how scientists catch invasive fish using a metal boat and electric currents so they can tag the fish for radio telemetry studies.

Explore Smithsonian: How can Scientists Track the Movement of an Invasive Species of Fish?

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Discover how invasive blue catfish undergo surgery to be outfitted with radio telemetry tags that track and monitor their movements in the Chesapeake Bay.

Explore Smithsonian: How do Scientists Sample Populations of Fish and Invertebrates Along the Shorelines?

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Seining is the method of using a long net, with weights and floats, to capture fish and invertebrates. Learn how Smithsonian scientists are using this sampling method to look at the health of populations of nearshore fish and invertebrates in the Chesapeake Bay.

Explore Smithsonian: How do Scientists Track and Monitor Blue Crab Populations in the Chesapeake Bay?

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Blue crab populations are severely declining and scientists want to know why. Ride on a trawl boat with Smithsonian researchers as they trawl the Chesapeake Bay. Learn how they capture, identify, tag, and release the crabs for population studies.

Explore Smithsonian: How Does a Curator of Great Cats Monitor the Health of Individual Lions in a Pride?

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Great Cat Curators at the National Zoo need to track the health of the lion pride, and one way they are doing it is with glitter. Join us to find out why lions are eating glitter.

Explore Smithsonian: What can we Learn from Lion Poop?

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
It may sound gross, but poop can tell you a lot about an animal’s health. Join the Smithsonian’s Great Cat Curator to learn how and why they collect lion poop and why it’s sparkly!

Explore Smithsonian: What External Adaptations do Pandas Have for Their Unique Diet?

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Even though giant pandas are carnivores, almost all they eat is bamboo and plants. Discover the special external adaptations these bears have to eating this tough plant

Explore Smithsonian: Courtney Dressing - Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Graduate Student

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Are there other planets like Earth? Discover the research of Courtney Dressing, a PhD candidate at the Harvard-Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Discover how she became interested in science and her fascinating research to find exoplanets, or those planets that are Earth-like.

Explore Smithsonian: How Can a Greenhouse Use Technology to Meet the Needs of Different Types of Plants?

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Discover how Smithsonian scientists use technology in a greenhouse to meet the needs of different types of plants. 

Explore Smithsonian: How Do Astronomers See the Invisible Parts of the Universe?

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Learn how scientists at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory use the Chandra X-ray Observatory to see the invisible parts of the universe. 

Explore Smithsonian: James Smithson - The Founder of the Smithsonian

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Uncover the history of the crypt of the Smithsonian’s founder James Smithson and the journey of his crypt and bones to Washington, DC.

Explore Smithsonian: How Can Electricity Correct a Telescope in Outer Space?

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Learn how scientist at Smithsonian Astrophysical Society are using electricity to correct mirrors on telescopes in outer space!

Explore Smithsonian: How Are Optical Instruments Tested Before Space Flight?

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Telescopes have mirrors that help them gather light, but the challenge of modern telescopes is getting the mirrors to bend and move to collect the most light. Discover how Smithsonian researchers are making their own mirrors, and testing them, to go into space.

Habitats

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Do you know where the red-eyed tree frog calls home? Play this game based on animal habitats to learn! Explore the desert, coral reef, jungle, and marsh to discover where many animals live by matching each animal to their correct habitat!

Expedition: Insects

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Giant deadly hornets, gorgeous fluttering butterflies and stealthy crawling stink bugs: readers cannot tear their eyes away from these fascinating creatures. They can discover these and more mesmerizing world insects in Expedition: Insects, an e-book written, illustrated and animated by the Smithsonian Science Education Center.

Expedition: Insects is aligned with Next Generation Science Standards for grades 3-5. In the book, readers travel around the world to visit six different types of insects in their natural habitats. The young explorers learn about how evolution is responsible for all the beauty, fearsomeness and awe found in nature’s insects.

Weather Lab

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
What happens when ocean currents and air masses interact? Find out in Weather Lab! Take on the role of a meteorologist by predicting spring weather and how people should dress for it in particular regions of the United States.

Weather Lab is a tool to help visualize how North America’s weather is formed. This lab is designed to model the complex interactions between air masses and ocean currents, but like all models it represents probable outcomes. Each prediction you make is for possible outcomes during Spring.

Animals in Song -- Elizabeth Mitchell: Animal Songs for Children

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Lesson plan designed to teach music skills (singing, time-keeping, creative writing) through stories and movement games about animals.
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