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May 2019 ENEWS
 
Ignite Tomorrow

Ignite Tomorrow

The National Air and Space Museum is unveiling plans for a bold new future. Over the next several years, the Museum will completely transform its flagship building in Washington, DC inside and out. All 23 gallery spaces will be reimagined or completely new, covering the latest breakthroughs in aviation and space technology and sharing the history of air and space exploration in a new way. Learn more about the Ignite Tomorrow campaign and how you can help inspire the next generation of pilots and explorers.

GO FOR LAUNCH »
 
 
Quillbur
Photo: National Zoological Park

New at the Zoo: Quillbur

There's a new face at the Smithsonian's National Zoo! Quillbur is a prehensile-tailed porcupine who, despite his prickly appearance, is very friendly and is eager to interact with his keepers. Read all about our quill-covered friend, and find out exactly what prehensile-tailed porcupines eat and how they got their name in a Q&A with the Small Mammal House keepers.

READ THE Q&A »
 
 
Anthea Hartig

Meet the First Female Director of the American History Museum

The National Museum of American History has welcomed Anthea Hartig as its new Elizabeth MacMillan Director – and the first woman to hold the director position since the National Museum of American History opened in 1964. An award-winning public historian and cultural heritage expert, Dr. Hartig has dedicated her career to making the nation’s richly diverse history accessible and relevant.

SAY HELLO »
 
 
Living Coral
We're loving the Pantone Color of the Year 2019 – Living Coral! These coral specimens are from @smithsoniannmnh's collection, 3D scanned by @smithsonian3D. The team scanned a selection of reef-dwelling species that tell stories about reef health and history. Smithsonian 3D is working to process the data and share information about the corals online this spring!

– from the @smithsonian Instagram
 
SSEC summit

Building a More Diverse STEM Workforce

Demand for talented people trained in STEM disciplines is growing rapidly in the United States, yet minorities are still deeply underrepresented. One important contributing factor to this underrepresentation is the lack of minority STEM teachers. To address this issue, the Smithsonian Science Education Center, in collaboration with Shell Oil Company, will host a summit this month in New Orleans to engage leadership teams throughout the US with the hope of developing district-specific "action plans" for recruiting and retaining STEM teachers form underrepresented groups to leadership roles while remaining in the classroom.

LEARN MORE »
 
 
Mediterranean mussels
"Mytilus galloprovincialis" (Mediterranean mussels), photo: Yuriy Kvach. Creative Commons license.

Crossing the Pacific on Tsunami Debris

On March 11, 2011, a 125-foot tsunami struck Japan’s Tōhoku coast, triggered by a massive earthquake just hours earlier. The cost in human life and property damage was devastating. When it receded, it set in motion another chain of events – one which scientists are still watching unfold eight years later. It’s a story of millions of pieces of plastic that journeyed across the ocean, and the plants and animals that rafted with them. After surviving their perilous ocean voyage, can these species survive in their new homes?

FIND OUT MORE »
 
 
Rain Noise

When Does Noise Become A Message?

Background noise is generally regarded as a nuisance that can mask important sounds. But sometimes, that background noise can be used to our advantage. When bat researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute recorded and played back rain sounds for two different species of bats, both species used that information to delay emergence from their roosts, recognizing that rain would have a negative impact on their navigating and hunting abilities.

LISTEN CLOSELY »
 
 
Wikipedia Editing Workshop

Wikipedia Editing Workshop: Women in Natural History

Help the Smithsonian enhance information in Wikipedia about women in natural history! Join a Wikipedia editing workshop on March 13, 2019 hosted by the Smithsonian Libraries, in collaboration with the Biodiversity Heritage Library and with support from Wikimedia DC. The workshop, hosted in the National Museum of Natural History Library, will aim to improve and create Wikipedia articles related to women in natural history. If you're not local, don't worry – there are virtual participation options!

RSVP NOW »

PS – Think women artists deserve more recognition, too? If you’ll be in Washington, DC on Sunday, March 10th, the Smithsonian American Art Museum is hosting an edit-a-thon with Art+Feminism to improve coverage of feminism and the arts on Wikipedia. A special tour of remarkable women artists in SAAM’s collection kicks off the program, and then you’ll learn how to edit and create new articles on Women artists in Wikipedia. All levels of technological proficiency are welcome. Learn more and RSVP »
 
 
James Smithson, c. 1765-1829 (detail), James Roberts, 1753-c.1809, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

Architecture Pop Quiz

Fifty years ago on March 25th, the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Renwick Gallery was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The building was originally designed to house the art collection of William Wilson Corcoran, a 19th century banker, philanthropist and art collector.

The Renwick Gallery is considered one of the first and finest examples in America of which architectural style?

Renwick Gallery

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