Smithsonian Science Education Center

Introducing Tami's Tower: A New Smithsonian Science Game

The Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) has announced the release of Tami’s Tower: Let’s Think About Engineering, an educational engineering design game that will help teach students how to design a solution to a problem using basic engineering design principles. In the game, students must help Tami, a golden lion tamarin, reach fruit by building a tower with blocks. Students will need to be on the lookout for alligators, pandas and elephants that may topple the tower as they run by.

Image from Tami's Tower: Let's think about engineering
(Smithsonian Science Education Center)

Educational features in Tami’s Tower: Let’s Think About Engineering include alignment with national science standards, an in-game tutorial, prompts that support metacognition, a sandbox mode to facilitate deeper learning and engineering design tips.

“If you are looking for a fun way to get your K-2 students thinking about engineering and metacognition, Tami’s Tower is it,” said Brian Mandell, director of curriculum and communications at the Smithsonian Science Education Center. “The Smithsonian Science Education Center believes that ‘Tami’s Tower’s combination of animated Smithsonian animals, bewildering building-block challenges and research-based metacognitive prompts can help our youngest learners become their own teacher.”

Image from Tami's Tower: Let's think about engineering
(Smithsonian Science Education Center)

Funding for Tami’s Tower: Let’s Think About Engineering was provided by a Youth Access Grant from the Smithsonian Institution's Office of the Associate Provost for Education and Access.

Tami’s Tower: Let’s Think About Engineering was developed by the Smithsonian Science Education Center and is available for free at the Apple App Store, Google Play, Amazon Apps & Games Store and online at

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 has produced internationally acclaimed and bestselling game apps for the Smithsonian such as “BumperDucks,” “Disaster Detector,” and “Showbiz Safari.” Ashley’s game app, “Morphy!,” received an honoree award by The Webby Awards in 2016. “Aquation: The Freshwater Access Game” was a 2018 nominee for The Webby Awards inaugural games category for Public Service & Activism. Ashley was named to the 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 list for her work in games.

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, and the co-chair for Smithsonian Gaming. She earned her BS in Biology from Methodist University and a MA in Interactive Media from Elon University.

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