The Smithsonian Institution is is a special gem. Founded in 1846, it has provided inspiration and resources for literally generations of Americans and international visitors.
Today, many of the Smithsonian's resources are available on-line.
The Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access created the Smithsonian Learning Lab to inspire the discovery and creative use of its rich digital materials—more than a million images, recordings, and texts. It is easy to find something of interest because search results display pictures rather than lists. Whether you've found what you were looking for or just discovered something new, it's easy to personalize it. Add your own notes and tags, incorporate discussion questions, and save and share. The Learning Lab makes it simple.
By encouraging users to create and share personalized collections of Smithsonian assets and user-generated resources, the Learning Lab aspires to build a global community of learners who are passionate about adding to and bringing to light new knowledge, ideas, and insight.
In addition to the Learning Lab, the Smithsonian has a very wide range of on-line resources, with everything from the National Postal Museum and the National Portrait Gallery to Folkways (world music, music history, and music for children).
The Smithsonian has a kids section with games, projects, stories and interactive activities. A sample of topics includes Build a Sod House, Choose Ur Style, Coral Reef Interactive, Do try this at home!, and OurStory: American History Stories and Activities.
Check out over 100 on-line exhibits, covering a wide variety of subjects from Fantastic Worlds: Science and Fiction, 1780-1910 to Views from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera and Solar Energy to The Great Inka Road: Engineering an Empire.
The Smithsonian Magazine is now online for your perusal. Check it out.
The Smithsonian may be of particular interest to history and science educators. The Smithsonian even has prepared a site in which math and American history are "integrated".
A little know fact about the founding of the Smithsonian...
It all started in 1826 when James Smithson, a British scientist, drew up his last will and testament, naming his nephew as beneficiary. Smithson stipulated that, should the nephew die without heirs (as he would in 1835), the estate should go "to the United States of America, to found at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men."
It took another 20 years (until 1846) for the Smithsonian to become a reality.