Students examine Museum collection objects as part of a Q?rius school program. Photo by Jennifer Renteria, Smithsonian.
Students examine Museum collection objects as part of a Q?rius school program. Photo by Jennifer Renteria, Smithsonian.

Welcome back to school, teachers! As you get your 2017-2018 year underway, we would like to highlight the five top ways to bring the science resources of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History to your students.

1. Experience a Q?rius School...

Latest Posts

Why Are Blue Morpho Butterflies Blue? Find Out on ‘SEM Fridays’ at Our Electron Microscope Demo

Why are blue morpho butterflies blue? Come see for yourself at a weekly demonstration of a scanning electron microscope (or SEM) on “SEM Fridays” in Q?rius, The Coralyn W. Whitney Science Education Center. Watch me zoom in on a blue morpho sample at 15,000 times magnification, revealing clues to the butterfly’s color and more....Read more
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The blue morpho butterfly (Morpho peleides) can be found from Mexico south to Colombia, and in Trinidad. Smithsonian photo.

Going Deep for Octopods

Most familiar “octopods” (general term for octopuses and their close relatives) live in relatively shallow parts of the ocean. They are predators, who can benefit from the abundant food, such as fishes, crabs, and shrimps, in habitats such as shallow coral reefs....Read more
Ghost-like octopod of an unknown species discovered on the seafloor of the Pacific Ocean more than 4,000 meters down during a research cruise. Photo from NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Hohonu Moana 2016.

Our Language, Ourselves

Every sentence we speak reveals something about who we are as humans. Even people speaking the same language have distinct dialects that are rooted in their history and culture. Whether you say “soda” or “pop” may reveal what country and what region you are from....Read more
Alberto Javier Reyes García, biologist at the National Herbarium in Mexico (MEXU), collecting plants in the Zapotec community of La Ventosa, Oaxaca, Mexico as part of Smithsonian-led research. Photo by Gibrán Morales Carranza.

What Do Kayakers and River Snails have in Common?

Both kayakers and river snails are animals who rely on freshwater. While for a kayaker, it’s for recreation, for a snail it’s about livelihood. Freshwater snails live underwater and feed on algae and other bits of aquatic food. Like kayakers, they depend on certain conditions of temperature, water flow, and water quality for their activities....Read more
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Keeled Ramshorn snail (Planorbis carinatus) that lives in rivers and lakes in Europe. Photo by Gerhard Falkner.

Giving Fossils a Facelift

A fossil, if you think about it, has not shown its best face in a long time, maybe never. It has spent millions of years embedded in rock, ice, tar, or amber. It is a fossil preparator’s job to remove a fossil from the surrounding materials to reveal it for study and display. The difficulty of the preparation depends not only on what the fossilized organism is, but also how it has changed over time....Read more
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A broken, fossil tyrannosaurid dinosaur tooth found on the ground in the Judith River Formation in Montana. Smithsonian photo by Michelle Pinsdorf.

How I Learned to Barcode Lizards during My Internship

This summer, I was a Youth Engagement through Science (YES!) 2.0 Global Genome intern at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. The internship began with a two-week "bootcamp," during which we sequenced the DNA of the Iva annua plant (commonly known as the marshelder) in order to figure out what genes were involved in the plant’s domestication....Read more
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YES! Global Genome intern Camile gained experience working in a lab and learned how to DNA barcode lizards. Smithsonian photo.

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