You’re Invited to the Smithsonian National Education Summit!

This summer, educators from across the Smithsonian community will provide a series of engaging online sessions, in-person workshops, and panels to inspire a nationwide network of teachers, librarians, curriculum specialists across the education ecosystem.

Woman with crossed arms holds a microphone
Smithsonian Under Secretary for Education, Dr. Monique M. Chism, invites educators across the country to participate this summer in a free professional learning summit, featuring over 30 sessions across disciplines.  Joyce Boghosian

This summer, I'd like to extend a personal invitation to the 2022 Smithsonian National Education Summit, "Together We Thrive: Creating Our Shared Future Through Education."

The two-day, free hybrid event on July 27-28, 2022 focuses on celebrating and honoring educators and magnifying instructional strategies and resources that will help ensure each and every learner has the opportunity to thrive.

Featured Speakers include #1 New York Times bestselling children’s book author and poet Jason Reynolds, Award-winning documentarian, journalist, speaker, author, and philanthropist Soledad O'Brien, the 2022 National Teacher of the Year Kurt Russell, and Dr. Aaliyah Samuel from the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL).

Sessions from Smithsonian educators will explore: Cultivating Student Voice & Creativity Through Art and Design, Teaching Inclusive Stories, STEAM Education that Inspires Inquiry, Cross-Disciplinary and Hands-On Learning Approaches, Transformative Student-Centered Technology Solutions, and Special Invited Sessions from PBS Learning, ten State Teachers of the Year, Harvard’s Project Zero, and the Library of Congress.

Project Zero researcher, Dr. Verónica Boix-Mansilla, discusses ideas with teacher workshop participants. Her research focuses on approaches to prepare our youth for a world of increasing complexity and global interdependence. Boix-Mansilla will lead an in-person workshop at the Summit.  Michael Barnes, Smithsonian Institution Archives

The Summit comes at a time of uncertainty and challenge in our nation, but also a time of great hope and imagination to rethink all that is possible in education and the shared future we hope to inspire and make reality. We will explore challenging topics, that include a must-see plenary discussion entitled “Let’s Talk: Our Shared Future Through Education.” Since January 2021, 42 states have introduced bills or taken other steps that would restrict teaching or limit how teachers discuss racism, sexism, and gender identity. To date, fourteen states have imposed these bans and restrictions either through legislation or other avenues. Join Soledad O’Brien and representatives from the National Council for the Social Studies, National Council for Teachers of English, National Science Teachers Association, and National Council for Teachers of Mathematics to discuss their joint position statement “The Freedom to Teach.” This panel will begin with remarks from Anna King, the CEO of the National Parent Teacher Association, who will offer a national perspective on what that the association is hearing from parents and communities across the nation.

I am also extremely excited to have award-winning author of more than a dozen books for young people and the Library of Congress' 2020-2022 National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, Jason Reynolds, join the summit in-person at the McEvoy Auditorium on day two. Through his work, Reynolds helps galvanize youth to embrace and enjoy literature. He will share more about his own learning journey, creative works, and what he is hearing from students across the nation that can help inform educators in program design, thinking about young people’s needs, and deploying creative instructional strategies.

Furthermore, we will have a dynamic discussion about Early Learning in the U.S. with Damon Carson, J.D., Dr. Libby Doggett, and Dr. Iheoma U. Iruka. Also, the Smithsonian Science Education Center joins two K-12 STEAM educators and federal collaborators from the White House Office of Science the Technology Policy, U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of Defense, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to share examples of “convergence education” which is driven by complex real-world transdisciplinary problems and phenomena--ranging from climate change to biodiversity.

The Summit will draw thousands of teachers, curriculum specialist, librarians, state education agencies, administrators, and, museum and cultural educators from across the nation. The event is free and occurs virtually with an opportunity to join in-person on day two at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery's Auditorium and education centers. Participants attending in-person will have the opportunity to engage in curated workshops, see the keynote presentations in-person, and partake in the added benefit of participating in several gallery tours including the “A Picture Tells a Story" and "Voices of Social Justice” guided tours, which preview programming that the museums offer for student learning.

I look forward to seeing you!

Editor's Note: To learn more about the full agenda and list of speakers, visit the Smithsonian's National Education Summit's website and register to join us on July 27-28, 2022. More information is available here: