TWITTER FEED

April 29, 2013

early learning in museums

SEEC5

Students from the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center explore shapes in a nearby sculpture garden.

In 2012, the Institute of Museum and Library Services hosted a series of meetings to inform the development of a groundbreaking report on the role of libraries and museums in early learning.  Among the advisors to those meetings were representatives from the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center, a model school on the Smithsonian campus that combines the best practices in both early childhood and museum education. 

In his 2013 State of the Union address, President Obama declared, “Study after study shows that the sooner a child begins learning, the better he or she does down the road… I propose working with states to make high-quality preschool available to every single child in America.”

Given the increased interest and discussion at all levels about the importance of early learning, the timing is prime for museums and libraries to articulate and advance their participation in this arena.  The IMLS report, to be released this month, will make the case for decision makers at the local, state, and federal levels to fully use the capacity of libraries and museums in their early learning efforts.  The role (both current and potential) that museums and libraries play in the effort to educate our youngest children is immense, powerful, and inspiring.

As the executive director of the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center, Dr. Kimberlee Kiehl is well-positioned to discuss how museums can take a leadership role in supporting early learning.  In her keynote talk at the Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference on June 12, Dr. Kiehl will focus on collaboration ideas between the Smithsonian and the Affiliate network, and how such partnerships can change the face of early learning in our country. 

Do you have ideas to share about what your organization is doing with young learners?

Do you have specific questions about integrating early learning into your museum?

Take a few minutes to let us know in this quick, 3-question poll, so we can make this session as useful and productive as possible!   http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/5NF7PRY

 The Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference is for current Affiliates only. If you are interested in becoming an Affiliate, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee, 202.633.5304, for more information. Click here for 2013 Conference hotel information, agenda and registration.

 

 

 

May 22, 2012

Tribute to former Secretary Heyman

Former Smithsonian Secretary I. Michael Heyman

 I. Michael Heyman served as the tenth Secretary of the Smithsonian from 1994-2000.  To celebrate his inspiring and productive years at the Institution, current Secretary Dr. Wayne Clough invites all Affiliate staff to join a program and reception at the National Museum of American History, Warner Bros. Theater, at 5pm on June 14.  

In his five years as Secretary he helped usher in a more dynamic Smithsonian, an Institution more thoroughly engaged with the American people.

Heyman’s signature program was the celebration of the Smithsonian’s 150th anniversary in 1996.  That event saw the unprecedented exhibition “America’s Smithsonian,” which traveled to major cities across the United States, and culminated in a Birthday Party on the National Mall. 

Heyman also oversaw the creation of the Smithsonian’s first website and established the Smithsonian Latino Center and the Asian Pacific American Program.   Heyman secured funding and presided over the groundbreaking of the National Museum of the American Indian, and received a key donation for the building of the Udvar-Hazy Center.

Of course, Heyman also initiated the Smithsonian Affiliations Program, which has grown into a network of more than 171 museums across the country.  His vision for the program, to get Smithsonian collections out of storage, has evolved into a truly two-way street of resource sharing and collaborations that impact communities nationwide. 

In the words of Secretary Clough, “Heyman was unflinchingly optimistic about the Smithsonian’s ability to be a force for knowledge and inspiration in our society.”  We are no less optimistic today, especially given the rich network of Smithsonian Affiliate partners that are such an important part of his legacy.  What better way to honor his passing than with our Affiliate colleagues.  We hope you can join us.

 

March 24, 2011

2011 affiliations conference: let’s eat!

More and more museums are exploring ways to use food and foodways as an extension of their missions, and as an additional pathway to community engagement.  (Here’s an example, and what some Affiliates are doing.)  Whether exploring historic and cultural traditions around food or promoting an agenda of sustainability, food is increasingly appearing in the repertoire of museum programming. And we know this issue carries national importance, as the American Association of Museums recently announced its collaborative proposal for Let’s Move Museums and Gardens as a way to address the First Lady’s focus on healthy, active lifestyles that incorporate good food.

At the National Museum of the American Indian, the Mitsitam Café (mitsitam means “Let’s Eat” in the local Piscataway and Delaware languages) is a prime example of how food allows visitors to “experience Native cultures and indigenous foods in ways that appeal to all the senses, transcending the limits of a museum exhibition,”  according to Museum Director, Kevin Gover.  Mitsitam Executive Chef Richard Hetzler researched indigenous foodways from five general cultural landscapes in North and South America as represented in the Museum’s collections.  The result is a seasonal menu (the entire café changes some of its dishes 4 times per year) that reflects the food available to Native Americans, and their attitudes toward preparing it.  Visitors see their tamales being made by hand and salmon roasting on an open fire pit – both ancient Native techniques.  The menus are updated and refreshed for the 21st century palette, but the food also finds its way to interpretative carts, festivals and public programs.  One cannot help feeling the connection to native culture that flows uninterrupted from the galleries to the café.

Using food as an interpretation tool will be the topic of a session at the annual Smithsonian Affiliations Conference this year, and what better time to do it than over breakfast?  NMAI Chef Richard Hetzler will prepare a dish from his internationally-acclaimed Mitsitam cookbook, while discussing the Museum’s philosophy toward foodways education.  Other Affiliates who are exploring this topic are welcome to share their programs at the session as well.  And of course, we’ll all enjoy a buffet of Native breakfast foods to get our creative juices flowing. 

Bon appétit!

To see the full agenda and to register for the 2011 Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference, click here.

April 26, 2010

conference extra! FREE mobile media workshops for Affiliates

mobile-learning-instituteThe Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies (SCEMS), with sponsorship from Pearson Foundation and Nokia, is offering free mobile media learning workshops June 16- 18, 2010 after the Affiliations National Conference.  Affiliates are the first to have the opportunity to sign up to attend these free day-long mobile media learning workshops.  Extend your conference stay with these bonus workshops!

Click here to register

Leadership Summit Digital Media
Wednesday, June 16
10 am to 4:00 pm
Free to Affiliates 

The summit brings leaders in digital media together with school and museum decision makers. Participants will explore current research and effective practices in the educational use of social networks, cell phones, and social-media-based games and applications.  They will engage in digital media activities, view short media presentations, and discuss digital media in their own context and its potential to bring new life to learning.

Mobile Learning Workshop
Thursday, June 17, and Friday, June 18
10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Free to Affiliates

Learn to use digital media to engage young people with the tools they are already using in their lives outside of school. You’ll create media projects based on Smithsonian resources-digital tours, podcasts, wikis, and more. During the workshops, participants will collaborate with content experts from the Smithsonian and digital media experts from Pearson Foundation and Nokia to create new approaches for reaching today’s students.  The programs will make it possible to test and share how to use mobile technology in a museum setting.

 

Privacy

site designed by - ivey doyal