Smithsonian Science Education Center

Smithsonian Science Education Center Releases “Smithsonian Science for Makerspaces”

3D printed guitar from Smithsonian Science for Makerspaces
3D printed guitar from Smithsonian Science for Makerspaces
Logo for Smithsonian Science for Makerspaces

The Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) has announced the release of Smithsonian Science for Makerspaces, a series of free online engineering design challenges for students to engage with emerging technologies through hands-on learning. Inspired by Smithsonian Science for the Classroom, these activities bridge formal science education and the exciting makerspace movement by helping educators and teachers engage with digital and physical technologies within the context of science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) by asking them to make something new.

Smithsonian Science for Makerspaces include 3-D models and thoughtfully designed lesson plans that will guide educators and students throughout the engineering design process by observing, making, designing and testing solutions to a problem.

“The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development recently reported that women’s participation in inventive activities has been increasing, but, unfortunately, the pace is slow,” said Carol O’Donnell, director of the Smithsonian Science Education Center. “Through our new Smithsonian Science for Makerspaces, we hope to instill in young girls and boys an opportunity and an excitement to learn STEAM through making. We want our youth of today to be the engineers, inventors and makers of tomorrow.”

Smithsonian Science for Makerspaces uses Smithsonian resources to introduce the topics and provide teacher support for these exciting new challenges, which are aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards and available free at

You can 3D print your very own Smithsonian Castle at Smithsonian Science for Makerspaces!

3D printed Smithsonian Castle
Ashley Deese

Ashley Deese is the Manager of Digital Media at the Smithsonian Science Education Center, a part of the Smithsonian Institution, where she leads the digital media team throughout the production and distribution of Smithsonian STEM products such as game apps, interactives, and videos for children around the world.

Ashley is a voting member of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, a member of the Smithsonian Networks Review Committee for Smithsonian Channel, a Smithsonian unit editor for the Smithsonian Magazine Voices blog, member of the digital advisory board for the Smithsonian’s American Women’s History Initiative, the Smithsonian representative for the White House’s Computer Science for All initiative, and the co-chair for Smithsonian Gaming. She has helped fundraise for digital development and served as a co-principal investigator for several grants related to game development. She has presented her game apps around the Smithsonian, DC, and across the United States. She earned her BS in Biology from Methodist University and a MA in Interactive Media from Elon University.

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