Thursday, February 21, 2013

Smithsonian Quests~ New, Innovative Program for Students

Team 16,
Please read about this exciting new and innovative program the Smithsonian Museum is offering to students for free.  I have registered our class.  Parents, please read about this exciting opportunity and decide if you would like your child to participate.  I have emailed you this information too.  I have also emailed families the instructions on how to register your child.  Please click on the link above to check this out for yourselves. I would love to hear your thoughts on this innovative program.  Thank you for taking the time to research about the quests.

Smithsonian Quests inspire students to explore their own ideas and interests online, in school,
at home, and across the nation. The quests connect and reward learners of different ages and
in different regions as they learn through discovery and collaboration. Rewards include digital
badges that students (and teachers) take with them for life!
The primary goal is to inspire youth to explore their own interests through a series of online
activities and related incentive badges. Many of these badges are integrated with content from
online education conferences, which highlight a variety of different topics. The second goal is to
enhance students’ cognitive capabilities by incorporating knowledge and skill-building into the
quests. The online conferences and quests are interdisciplinary in nature, offering students the
opportunity to choose what they care about most.
All quests engage students in exploring a topic of interest either as part of a formal standards-
aligned school curriculum or as a student-driven after school activity. An important secondary
audience is you, the educator, whose support is vital in connecting with students. To this end,
you also will be offered badges that will document their participation in Smithsonian online
conferences, online professional development sessions, and the completion of class projects. All
quests will be reviewed and badges awarded by a team of Smithsonian experts.
The Smithsonian Education program is funded by conference producer, LearningTimes LLC,
and a Smithsonian Youth Access Grant.

About the Smithsonian Institution
Founded in 1846, the Smithsonian is the world’s largest museum and research complex,
consisting of 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park and nine research
facilities. There are 6,000 Smithsonian employees and 6,500 volunteers. Approximately 28.6
million people from around the world visited the Smithsonian in 2011. The total number of
objects, works of art and specimens at the Smithsonian is estimated at 137 million.

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