Inside Science - Smithsonian Associates Science Literacy
Science & Nature Programs
Smithsonian Sleepover at the Natural History Museum

Family Program: (Ages 8 to 12) Go on an interactive exploration of the Natural History Museum, participate in hands-on crafts projects, and view an IMAX film. Then roll out your sleeping bag and dream away in the darkened halls of one of the world’s most famous museums!

Date
Friday, August 18, 2017 - 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m.
Plastics: Separating the Good from the Bad

We have a complicated relationship with plastics: We depend on the material’s convenience and affordability every day, but the overabundance of waste it produces harms the environment. Smithsonian scientists Odile Madden and Pierre Comizzoli discuss how their own work—in museum conservation and research biology, respectively—approaches plastics’ potential and its problems.

Date
Wednesday, August 23, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
The Historic C&O Canal
All-Day Tour

Today, the C&O Canal National Historical Park is the ninth-most-visited site within the National Park System, with more visitors annually than signature parks like Yellowstone, Yosemite, or the Grand Canyon. Spend a summer day along—and on the C&O Canal, learning about its colorful history—and meeting several of its charismatic mules!

Date
Thursday, August 31, 2017 - 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sharks: On Assignment with Brian Skerry

With his work on view at the exhibition titled Sharks at the National Geographic Museum, award-winning photojournalist Brian Skerry reveals how he captured his amazing images and shares stories of witnessing some of the most beautiful, diverse, and threatened ocean ecosystems on the planet.

Date
Wednesday, September 6, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Historic Chestertown and a Cruise on the Schooner Sultana
All-Day Tour

Regional historian Hayden Mathews explores the rich heritage of this lovely Eastern Shore town, focusing on both land and sea. The day includes a cruise on a replica of an 18th century vessel, as well as an historic-district walking tour guided by Chestertown’s mayor.

Date
Sunday, September 10, 2017 - 8:00 a.m. to 6:15 p.m.
Science in Our Lives

With discoveries in topics from the origins of the universe to the human microbiome rapidly unfolding, science is more important now than ever. Smithsonian Associates’ innovative new Science Literacy Program meets that challenge with an exciting new series of expert-led programming, as well as the opportunity to participate in a lively online learning community.

Date
Monday, September 11, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Poachers and Piano Keys: Cristian Samper on Elephants and the Ivory Trade

President and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society Cristian Samper explains the nuanced issues of elephant poaching, the ivory trade, and the role museums and conservationists play in the protection of elephants and other ivory-producing species.

Date
Thursday, September 14, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Breakfast at the Zoo: Eyes on the Tigers

For Smithsonian Associates members at the Resident Promoter ($100) level or below and Smithsonian staff: Join us as we feature the National Zoo’s great cats—especially its fabulous Sumatran tigers—at this much-anticipated annual event. Enter the zoo before it opens to the public, enjoy breakfast, get up-close looks at the animals, and take in the memorable sights and sounds of Smithsonian’s wonderful zoo.

Date
Saturday, September 16, 2017 - 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Breakfast at the Zoo: Eyes on the Tigers

For Smithsonian Associates members at the Resident Advocate ($175) level or above. Join us as we feature the National Zoo’s great cats—especially its fabulous Sumatran tigers—at this much-anticipated annual event. Enter the zoo before it opens to the public, enjoy breakfast, get up-close looks at the animals, and take in the memorable sights and sounds of Smithsonian’s wonderful zoo. This ticket option includes VIP access at the Mane Grill across from Lion and Tiger Hill from 8 to 9 a.m.

Date
Saturday, September 16, 2017 - 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Breakfast at the Zoo: Eyes on the Tigers

For Smithsonian Associates members at the Resident Advocate ($175) level or above. Join us as we feature the National Zoo’s great cats—especially its fabulous Sumatran tigers—at this much-anticipated annual event. Enter the zoo before it opens to the public, enjoy breakfast, get up-close looks at the animals, and take in the memorable sights and sounds of Smithsonian’s wonderful zoo. This ticket option includes VIP access at the Mane Grill across from Lion and Tiger Hill from 9 to 10 a.m.

Date
Saturday, September 16, 2017 - 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Breakfast at the Zoo: Eyes on the Tigers

For Smithsonian Associates members at the Resident Advocate ($175) level or above. Join us as we feature the National Zoo’s great cats—especially its fabulous Sumatran tigers—at this much-anticipated annual event. Enter the zoo before it opens to the public, enjoy breakfast, get up-close looks at the animals, and take in the memorable sights and sounds of Smithsonian’s wonderful zoo. This ticket option includes VIP access at the Mane Grill across from Lion and Tiger Hill from 10 to 11 a.m.

Date
Saturday, September 16, 2017 - 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Animals on the Move: Following Digital Footprints

Understanding the forces that set nature in motion is vital as efforts to maintain global diversity, map conservations hotspots, manage human-wildlife conflict, and even monitor the spread of pandemic disease continue to face challenges. Learn about the growing array of technologies, from drones to satellite tracking, that are behind a revolution in animal tracking today.

Date
Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Historic Chestertown and a Cruise on the Schooner Sultana
All-Day Tour

Regional historian Hayden Mathews explores the rich heritage of this lovely Eastern Shore town, focusing on both land and sea. The day includes a cruise on a replica of an 18th century vessel, as well as an historic-district walking tour guided by Chestertown’s mayor.

Date
Sunday, September 24, 2017 - 8:00 a.m. to 6:15 p.m.
The Sputnik Years

When a Russian rocket lofted Sputnik 1 into orbit on October 4, 1957, the Space Age—and the Space Race—had begun. Explore the events leading up to Sputnik's launch, the political fallout that led to America's response (Explorer 1), the formation of NASA, and the role that everyday citizens played in tracking the first satellites.

Date
Wednesday, October 4, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
What Dinosaurs Tell Us

What can long-dead animals teach us? Plenty, according to paleontologist Kenneth Lacovara—including helping us to understand the planet’s geological origins, the nature of deep time, the meaning of fossils, and our own place on Earth.

Date
Thursday, October 5, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
De-extinction: Genomic Engineering of Mammoth Proportions

Geneticist George Church, one of the founders of the Human Genome Project, discusses how research into DNA sequencing might hold the key to bringing back the woolly mammoth. Author Ben Mezrich, who has chronicled the project in a book, and Scott Stossel, editor of The Atlantic magazine, are part of the conversation.

Date
Wednesday, October 11, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Kayaking the Potomac: A New View of the Capital
Weekend Tour

Experience some of Washington’s most distinctive landmarks from a different perspective—a kayak on the Potomac. Judy Lathrop, a certified interpretive guide and kayak instructor, weaves together urban, cultural, and natural history to create a unique portrait of the capital city, its people, and its most famous river. 

Date
Saturday, October 14, 2017 - 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Make the Most of Your Memory: The Science and Strategies You Need To Remember

Memory is critical to every insight and idea we will ever have. And the better memory is, the better the mind functions. Peter Vishton, associate professor in the department of psychology at William and Mary, shares the science of how human memory functions and how we can enhance memory and reduce forgetfulness.

Date
Saturday, October 14, 2017 - 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Kayaking the Potomac: A New View of the Capital
Weekend Tour

Experience some of Washington’s most distinctive landmarks from a different perspective—a kayak on the Potomac. Judy Lathrop, a certified interpretive guide and kayak instructor, weaves together urban, cultural, and natural history to create a unique portrait of the capital city, its people, and its most famous river. 

Date
Saturday, October 14, 2017 - 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Kayaking the Potomac: A New View of the Capital
Weekend Tour

Experience some of Washington’s most distinctive landmarks from a different perspective—a kayak on the Potomac. Judy Lathrop, a certified interpretive guide and kayak instructor, weaves together urban, cultural, and natural history to create a unique portrait of the capital city, its people, and its most famous river. 

Date
Sunday, October 15, 2017 - 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Kayaking the Potomac: A New View of the Capital
Weekend Tour

Experience some of Washington’s most distinctive landmarks from a different perspective—a kayak on the Potomac. Judy Lathrop, a certified interpretive guide and kayak instructor, weaves together urban, cultural, and natural history to create a unique portrait of the capital city, its people, and its most famous river. 

Date
Sunday, October 15, 2017 - 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
String Theory Explained

In the last few decades, scientists have come to believe they have found the key that finally unlocks the secrets of the universe—dangling from something called string theory. Professor of physics Steven Gubser explains how string theory relates to the forces that drive the universe and also to the real world.

Date
Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Mindshift: Learning How To Learn

This evening, Barbara Oakley shares insights into how everyone can learn how to learn, no matter your age or stage of life.  You’ll walk away with practical tools based on solid research—and you’ll have fun along the way!

Date
Wednesday, October 18, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Chasing the Ghost of the China Clipper
All-Day Tour

Led by transportation expert Scott Hercik, learn about the beginning of trans-Pacific commercial aviation and the four-engine flying boats, the legendary Clipper line that pioneered the launch, during this visit to the Glenn L. Martin Maryland Aviation Museum.

Date
Saturday, October 21, 2017 - 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
How the Brain Works

Neuroscientist Moran Cerf looks at how the brain influences behavior, emotion, decision-making, and dreams. He also offers a new perspective on how much free will we have.

Date
Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
A Spectacular Day at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary
All-Day Tour

Spend a day at the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, the world’s first refuge for birds of prey and an international center for raptor conservation, for a chance to see eagles, falcons, hawks, and osprey soaring high over a mountaintop preserve aglow with fall foliage.

Date
Friday, October 27, 2017 - 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Urban Farming in DC: Rooftop Garden Tour and Workshop at H Street Farms

Niraj Ray of Cultivate the City, a District-based organization of urban farmers, offers a look at creative solutions to growing your own food or beautifying your small space. Bring home your own herb plantings to give you a head start.

Date
Sunday, October 29, 2017 - 2:00 p.m.
Neuroscience and Art: A Creative Connection
2-Session Daytime Course

Merge recent findings on visual perception with familiar elements of art to discover how your landscape and still-life paintings can take on new and fresh creative edges.

Date
Tuesday, November 7 and 14, 2017 – 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.