As a science educator at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, I have been actively involved in developing hands-on activities aimed at students aged 8-12 on ecology and evolution using 3D printed fossil replicas and phylogenetic trees, developing distance learning content for school children, and training museum volunteers. I also co-lead a live dissection activity.
The Lineage Project is an NSF funded collaborative project between national media producers, noted learning institutions and researchers, including Twin Cities Public Television, the Smithsonian Institution / National Museum of Natural History, Schell Games, the Institute for Learning Innovation (ILI), and Rockman et al. One of the project's primary innovations is its exploration of new learning designs for families that use cutting-edge technologies.
As a member of the Lineage team, I helped develop hands-on educational activities on the evolution of elephants, dinosaurs, and whales, along with consulting on activities related to the Deep Time Fossil Hall. These activities are compatible with Next Generation Science Standards. You can find a description of the activities here. They will eventually be available through the Natural History Museum's Education website.
Kids are just like scientists!
I helped produce a video for the Smithsonian for the USA Science and Engineering Festival that highlights how kids can be scientists
Smithsonian's Natural History Summer Explorations
In the summer of 2020, I led a Smithsonian Summer Camp session on the changing face of dinosaurs, paleontology, and how it influences paleo art.
Smithsonian Science How
Through the NMNH digital distance learning programs such as Smithsonian Science How, I developed educational content for school children that was streamed live across the country. I have broadcasted this lesson twice now.
Fossil Friday Webinar
As part of the pandemic response, I helped develop additional distance learning content through the online Fossil Friday webinars. You can watch the broadcast here:
I co-led a 6-week public dissection activity at the Smithsonian's NMNH where I collaborated with several academic departments at the museum, along with education, and communications. I helped teach comparative anatomy, the relationship between form and function and why paleontologists study living animals to over 600 members of the general public. I helped dissect a fish, a salamander, a grebe, a ferret and an alligator.
For the Deep Time Exhibit, I helped train 100 volunteers with concepts related to ecology and evolution and in using our hands-on education activities.