7145 SMILE Pathway to Math and Science Outreach Activities

Friday, February 17, 2012: 3:30 PM
Room 214 (VCC West Building)
Darrell Porcello , University of California, Berkeley, CA
Howtosmile.org is an online collection of over 2000 high quality, hands-on interactive science and math activities developed by trusted educators dedicated to making learning exciting and engaging for everyone. All of the partner organizations of howtosmile.org have contributed hands-ons activities to the collection that are designed especially for those who teach school-aged children in out-of-school settings. These settings can be found at science museums, aquaria, zoos, and parks, or within homeschool, afterschool, outdoor, and youth-serving educational programs. 

An activity found at howtosmile.org might be downloadable instructions for building a motorized jitterbug, a lesson plan for an outdoor field trip to investigate a local ecosystem, or an online game that lets learners do virtual surgery. Using howtosmile.org, educators can sort activities by age level, subject, and materials cost. Some activities are also available in Spanish. All activities are freely accessible, and never require a registration or subscription.

Howtosmile.org is also home to an open community of educators who search activities, collect their favorites, and share teaching experiences. Users are able to track their participation on the website with a badge system. Users can earn badges through many different community actions including:  leaving a comment, creating a list of favorite hands-on activities, and submitting a video showing a tweak to a popular activity.

Over the last two years the core partners of howtosmile.org, UC Berkeley's Lawrence Hall of Science, Exploratorium, Science Museum of Minnesota, Children's Museum of Houston, New York Hall of Science, and ASTC, have expanded to include OMSI, COSI, TERC, NASA, DragonflyTV, the Astronomy Society of the Pacific, the Bridge: Online Ocean Science Education Resource Center, Perkins School for the Blind, 4-H, California Academy of Sciences, WGBH, AZA, and AAUW. Howtosmile.org is funded by the National Science Foundation and is a project of the National Science Digital Library (NSDL.org), the nation's online library for education and research in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

In this session you will learn about the history of howtomsmile.org and recent online tool development including a new iPhone app and a javascript, client-side widget for partner websites.