The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History set out to create a new type of science-education tool that could reach students in grades 5-12 nationwide and show them that science is exciting and relevant to our lives. The solution was “Smithsonian Science How?” a new, television-style show streamed live through the web that puts experts from the museum into classrooms nationwide and allows students to ask questions via a chat module. Each 25-minute program features a different scientist explaining their work and is produced live twice, to accommodate both East and West Coast classrooms. All content is aligned with national science standards and packaged with free classroom resources. Initial evaluation data provided by participating educators nationwide revealed that a large majority found the webcasts and related classroom resources extremely or very well aligned with current student learning. Educators consistently indicated that their students were highly engaged or engaged a great deal by the shows. The majority of respondents indicated that the webcast was an effective way to engage their students with science topics. “Smithsonian Science How?” is part of the Q?rius education initiative at the museum that supports STEM education among youth and helps to address the science literacy gap in America. See How.
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