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Written by: Christy Deatherage
Thursday February 20, 2014

VMNH has a unique opportunity for Virginia Middle Schools to participate in live interactive webcasts with Smithsonian scientists and VMNH. All Smithsonian Science HOW webcast will align with the Next Generation Science Standards and Virginia Science Standards of Learning and will focus on connecting students to scientists, increasing students’ understanding of science, and inspiring students about STEM education and careers. In addition to the 25-minute webcast led by Smithsonian scientists and staff, VMNH educators and scientists will engage students in a specially developed, educational program to reinforce the content of the webcast.

Carlisle School 6th graders visited VMNH in January and participated in the “Paleobiology” webcast.  Students had the opportunity to communicate with Dr. Nick Pyenson, curator of fossil marine mammals at Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, and understand how paleontologists recover fossils and study them.  After the webcast, the students viewed the vertebrate paleontology lab and Carmel Church exhibit at VMNH and worked with educators with replica whale bones to discuss fossils.

Earlier this month, the “Forensic Ornithology” webcast was presented to VMNH staff, Interpreters (education volunteers), and local Master Naturalist members.  This webcast featured Dr. Carla Dove, ornithologist at Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.  Webcast participants then visited VMH’s dry biology storage area led by Haley Cartmell, collections manager to learn more about collection and storage methods with the museum’s ornithology specimens.  


Schedule of Upcoming Webcasts

February 27, 2014 (At-VMNH)

11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Forensic Anthropology: Bone Whispering featuring Kari Bruwelheide
NGSS Physical Science NGSS MS-PS1
National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies (NCSS)

March 13, 2014 (remote)
11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Arthropod Adaptations: Inside the Insect Zoo featuring Dan Babbitt
NGSS Life Science MS-LS2-1, MS-LS4-3, MS-LS4-4, MS-LS4-5
Earth Science MS-ESS3-3

March 27, 2014 (remote)
11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Human Evolution: Early Human Diets featuring Briana Pobiner
NGSS Life Science MS-LS1-4, MS-LS1-5, MS-LS4-1, MS-LS4-2

April 10, 2014 (remote)
11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Quantifying Biodiversity: Life in One Cubic Foot featuring Chris Meyer
NGSS Life Science MS-LS2-1, MS-LS2-2, MS-LS2-4, MS-LS2-5

April 24, 2014 (remote)
11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Deep-Reef Biodiversity: Exploring the Unexplored featuring Carole Baldwin
NGSS Life Science MS-LS2-1, MS-LS2-2, MS-LS2-4, MS-LS2-5

May 15, 2014 (remote)
11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Core Geology: Earth's Deep Interior featuring Elizabeth Cottrell
NGSS Earth Science MS-ESS1-4, MS-ESS2-2, MS-ESS2-3, MS-ESS3-1, MS-ESS3-2

June 5, 2014 (remote)
11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Paleobotany: Climate Change Past and Present Scott Wing
NGSS Life Science MS-LS4-1, MS-LS4-2, MS-LS4-4, MS-LS4-6
Earth Science MS-ESS3-5

The full list of webcasts and information can be found at  Please call (276) 634-4185 to register now!

Tags: At-the-museum, Education