Students participate in a forensic anthropology school program at the museum. Photo by Jennifer Renteria, Smithsonian.
Students participate in a forensic anthropology school program at the museum. Photo by Jennifer Renteria, Smithsonian.

Teachers, get the top four ways the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History can help educate and inspire your students.

Latest Posts

Explore Latin American Collection Objects in Q?rius During Hispanic Heritage Month

My name is Efrain Tejada and I am the Manager of Q?rius, The Coralyn W. Whitney Science Education Center and Q?rius jr: a discovery room at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. I have always been fascinated by the world that surrounds us and how we are related to it. Growing up in El Salvador, I developed a strong interest in pre-Columbian cultures and the way they interacted with the natural world that surrounded them....Read more
Tags: collections
Efrain Tejada sits in Q?rius holding a piece of atacamite from Chile. On the table is a textile wedding mural made in Peru, and a Carnival lion mask from Mexico. Photo by Jennifer Renteria, Smithsonian.

¿Porque la mariposa Morfo Azul es azul? Averígualo como microscopios electrónicos revela la respuesta

¿Porque la mariposa Morfo Azul es azul? Ven a ver por ti mismo en “Viernes de SEM”, una demostración semanal de como nuestros científicos utilizan tecnología de punta para entender las maravillas de la Naturaleza, en Q?rius, El Centro de Educación en Ciencia Coralyn W. Whitney. Mira como se ve una mariposa magnificada hasta 15.000 veces, y descubre los secretos del color de la mariposa y mucho más....Read more
Tags: butterflies
The blue morpho butterfly (Morpho peleides) can be found in tropical areas from Mexico to South America. Smithsonian photo.

Why Are Blue Morpho Butterflies Blue? Find Out How Electron Microscopes Reveal the Answer

Why are blue morpho butterflies blue? Come see for yourself at a weekly presentation of how scientists use state-of-the-art equipment to understand nature’s wonders in Q?rius, The Coralyn W. Whitney Science Education Center. Watch what happens when various liquids contact blue morpho wings. See what a blue morpho sample looks like at 15,000 times magnification, a perspective revealing clues to the butterfly’s color and more....Read more
Tags: butterflies
The blue morpho butterfly (Morpho peleides) can be found in tropical areas from Mexico to South America. Smithsonian photo.

Teens Explore Forensic Anthropology in 'Mystery at Yorktown Creek'

Erosion along a creek bed in Yorktown, Va., exposed something startling: a human skeleton! Scientists excavated the bones to prevent them from being washed away and destroyed, then brought them to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History to be analyzed by our forensic anthropologists. Who was this person, when did he or she live, and what can we learn about his or her life?...Read more
Q?rius volunteer Victor Guerrero shows students a human jawbone during the "Forensic Mysteries: Mystery at Yorktown Creek" school program. Photo by Jennifer Renteria, Smithsonian.

Insects Interacting with Plants Play Mighty Roles on Earth for Millennia

Some systems that sustain life on Earth have been operating for a really long time. Cycles of oxygen, water, and minerals all come to mind. But what about the green world of plants around us, and of their abundant associates, the insects? Insects and plants have been interacting on Earth for hundreds of millions of years in a complex array of relationships....Read more
Tags: insect, plant, fossil
Ancient scorpionflies pollinating the primitive seed plants Caytonia, at left, and Alvinia, at right. Depiction by Mary Parrish, Smithsonian.

How Magma Behaves when It Gets Gassed Up

Lava is the most famous hazard of volcanoes. It is featured in movies, and used to describe lamps, chocolate cakes, and mobile phone cases. But lava is only part of the volcano story. Lava is what we call magma when it flows out of a volcano, and magma is molten – or melted – rock. While you would not want to stand in lava, which can be as hot as 2,000°F, at a walking pace you could outrun the majority of lava flows....Read more
Tags: volcano
The 2013 eruption of the Mount Etna in Italy sent materials skyward. Photo by gnuckx, public domain.

Back to the Past, Looking for Sea Urchins and Other Deep Sea Life

While this animal looks like a pincushion, you would not find it in a sewing kit. This venomous sea urchin, A. belli, lives on the ocean bottom as deep as several thousand meters. Scientists study it, and other deep ocean dwellers, from submersibles or remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) that explore the ocean depths equipped with cameras and collecting gear. ...Read more
Sea urchin (Araeosoma belli) with poison sacs on the end of its spines. Photo by Dave Pawson, Smithsonian.

Pages