WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 22, 2013) —Making connections between art and science in the classroom can be a challenging task for teachers, but it can provide students with ways to hone their observation skills, discover connections and experiment with new ideas. The Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access is hosting two online education conferences for teachers and students June 12 and July 10 that showcase astrophotography as a prime example of the intersection of these two subject areas.

Each session features Smithsonian experts presenting free digital-learning resources from the Smithsonian and teaching strategies that educators can use to explore cross-curricular lessons with their students. Experts also will respond to participant questions. An associated digital badge opportunity will be introduced through the Smithsonian Quests (smithsonianquests.org) program. Students can earn the Astrophotographer badge by capturing images of the solar system, stars and galaxies using the telescopes they control remotely online and creating their own images using digital tools to enhance color and light.

Joseph DePasquale and Mary Dussault from the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory will present “Understanding Astrophotography: Where Science and Art Meet” Wednesday, June 12, at 1 p.m. EDT. They will demonstrate how scientists transform raw data from telescopes into impressive images that tell a story about the universe.

Dussault, with Lindsay Bartholomew of the Miami Science Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate, will present the second session, “Do-It-Yourself Astrophotography: Applications for the Classroom and Beyond,” Wednesday, July 10, at 4 p.m. EDT. The educator-focused session will highlight techniques that facilitate powerful STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) learning for students through project-based lessons that engage students in creating their own public astrophotography exhibitions.

The 2013 Smithsonian Online Education Conference Series provides an online space for teachers and students to engage with Smithsonian experts and make connections from textbooks to today’s world. For more information, visit http://smithsonianeducationconferences.org/.

About Smithsonian Institution
Founded in 1846, the Smithsonian is the world’s largest museum and research complex, consisting of 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park and nine research facilities. There are 6,000 Smithsonian employees and 6,500 volunteers. Approximately 30 million people from around the world visited the Smithsonian in 2012. The total number of objects, works of art and specimens at the Smithsonian is estimated at 137 million.

Media Contacts
• Michelle Smith, Smithsonian, 202-633-5326 smithmk@si.edu

• Charlene Blohm, C. Blohm & Associates, 608-216-7300 x17, charlene@cblohm.com

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