Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Smithsonian Education

In 1826, James Smithson, a British scientist willed that his estate should go “to the United States of America, to found at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men.” Several years later saw the first Smithsonian Institute Museum now expanding to 19 museums, 144 affiliate museums and 9 research centres. In 2005 there were over 24 million visitors in 2005 and housing 136 million collections it is a treasure for any educator.

Smithsonian Education is geared towards educators, students and families. There is a free Smithsonian Education e-newsletter you can sign-up for that has links to various lesson plans, stories within the website, professional development for educators, etc...

The educator section is full of teaching resources. For example February is Black History Month and there is a whole section dedicated to this topic.

The Smithsonian Magazine is available online or in print with sections on: history, the arts, science & technology, travel, nature & wildlife and people & cultures. An interesting article in this months is on "Faces of War".... journey of WWI soldiers whose faces were disfigured from the war and the artists and sculptures who came to their aid creating face masks.

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