The Smithsonian Institution Introduces Immediate access to the world’s largest collection of cultural materials

September 16, 2003

Site features include:

  • Separate areas designed for educators, families, and students
  • Nearly 1,000 educational resources, searchable by grade, subject, and museum
  • Interactive activities that engage students through rich graphics and animation
  • Lessons, activities, and teaching tools aligned with national education standards

“The Smithsonian has always been one of our nation’s greatest educational and cultural destinations. Now, with the creation of, we are bringing the Smithsonian’s resources into classrooms and homes around the country,” said Stephanie Norby, director of Smithsonian Education. “We created the new site to be authoritative, inspiring, and relevant. Authoritative because it is based on Smithsonian scholarship, inspiring because it represents some of our nation’s greatest achievements, and relevant because its resources address national education standards.” features three sections:

  • EDUCATORS: Free resources for the classroom! Content is aligned with national education standards, developed with input from teachers, and based on Smithsonian scholarship. Educators can quickly download lesson plans or search by subject or grade level for nearly 1,000 publications, Web sites, field trips, and other teaching tools. The site also lists professional development opportunities, special events for teachers, and a step-by-step guide to planning field trips to the Smithsonian and other museums.
  • FAMILIES: Museums are great family spaces! Families can learn how to make the most of their museum visits by planning ahead and following tips and activities provided by the Smithsonian’s education experts.
    The family site helps parents find child-friendly exhibitions at the Smithsonian and its Affiliates across the nation. The site also features reading lists, interactive learning labs, and other online activities that help parents to encourage learning.
  • STUDENTS: A fun and interactive destination for kids! Bright, friendly, and easy-to-navigate, the site features sound, video, collection photos, and maps to engage today’s media-oriented students.
    Through the site’s interactive features such as the award-winning Apollo 11, students can take a virtual journey back in time to explore historical events. Secrets of the Smithsonian engages students with its behind-the-scenes stories of the Smithsonian Institution’s rich history-from the curse of the Hope Diamond to the location of Smithson’s bones. And Smithsonian Kids: Collecting highlights Smithsonian collections and inspires students to try their own hands at collecting. Students can also browse through dozens of Smithsonian Web sites, ranging from art and design, to science and nature, to history and faraway places.

“ provides educators, families and students access to a fun, interactive, and educational experience,” said Michelle Smith, director of publications and electronic media at Smithsonian Education. “The site gives users the keys to the castle-the Smithsonian Castle-where there’s something relevant for everyone.”

About the Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies was produced by the Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies, the central education department of the Smithsonian Institution. The Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies fulfills the educational mission of the Smithsonian by producing research-based learning experiences that are measurable, research-based, and relevant to audience needs.