Education

  • Seining

    Students seining during Shoreline Connections field trip

    SERC offers students hands-on opportunities to learn about the Bay, by donning waders, using microscopes, and handling live organisms. 

  • Oyster reef

    Students learn about oyster reefs and the Bay.

    SERC offers hands-on learning about oysters and the Bay while on the water.

  • ROV program

    Broadcom students participate in SERC's ROV program

    SERC offers STEM programs for schools and organized groups of all ages and interests. This includes STEM programs like the Remotely Operated Vehicle Workshop.

  • Oyster bar

    Students sort through oyster shells to learn about the Bay.

    SERC offers outdoor and hands-on science programs for K-12, hands-on and outside.

  • teacher professional development

    Teacher Professional Development

    SERC offers a wide variety of teacher professional development and certifications for environmental educators. 

  • Fish from the Rhode River

    Fish from the Rhode River

    SERC offers hands-on programs for schools and groups, including watershed studies and food webs. 

  • hydraulics

    Broadcom students compete to build blue crab hydraulics.

    SERC offers a variety of STEM based programs, including Blue Crab Hydraulics. 

  • teacher professional development

    Teacher Professional Development

    SERC offers a wide variety of teacher professional development.

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The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) is dedicated to providing high quality educational programs that incorporate SERC research with hands-on and inquiry-based learning. Our programs are led by SERC staff and highly-trained volunteers. They emphasize environmental literacy (eLit) and the practices of science – one of the major components of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). We offer programs K-12 schools, organized groups on Saturdays and in the Summer, and teacher professional development. Programs are offered year round. Please visit the tabs on the right of the page for more program specifics. We look forward to working with you, your students, participants, and groups. 

To book a field trip, fill out a form and email it to Karen McDonald at McDonaldK@si.edu. You can also email Karen McDonald to purchase a pass with a fixed price based on vehicle type/capacity. Full payment is required at the time of booking for passes, and includes free chaperone access. You must book at least two weeks before your trip.

Join our team as an intern!

SERC Education Department Internship

SERC Education Interns work with Education staff full-time for 11 weeks, and learn how to deliver hands-on science based around the practices of science of our Smithsonian Scientists. This means setting up and taking down program materials, delivering programs to school groups (K-12th grade), public programs, working with volunteers, and some care of fish tanks and turtles. We are looking for undergraduate or graduate students who can work a M-F schedule, and enjoy working with students and teaching science outdoors.

Compensation: $600/week
Duration: 11 weeks
Deadline: Open until filled

For more information, contact Karen McDonald at McDonaldK@si.edu.

Please apply by sending an email expressing interest, a resume, and three references to SERCOutreach@si.edu.

FAQs about SERC Internships

SERC Education Department’s Mission:

Bridging the science and education programs at SERC. To do this, we will engage K-12 students and educators in activities that help them better understand the world around them, using the lens of SERC research.

Learning objectives | A collaborative Education Intern will:

  • Learn how to deliver hands-on in-person and interactive virtual field trips, with skills such as facilitating the field trip, delivering the content, and managing groups.
  • Create content related to delivering either onsite or virtual field trips, activities, and sessions (written or visual).
  • Learn and apply skills related to group management for virtual and in-person program
  • Learn how to maintain and update the SERC Learning Lab platform for posting Education Department materials such as lesson plans, videos, and activities for teachers and students.
  • Learn how to work effectively with volunteers (from a variety of backgrounds)
  • Understand how to deliver at least one large scale virtual public engagement event virtually or hybrid.
  • Learn how to track and manage group program information, bookings, and interactions with groups.
  • Create a final project in agreement on the topic with the Education Director

Weekly duties:

  • Assigned readings of training materials, program content, and background for programs
  • Meetings with Education staff and regularly communicating via Microsoft Teams
  • Check-ins/working on final project
  • Attending trainings by Education staff
  • Updating group contact information, notes, and bookings
  • Facilitating online programs
  • Onsite care of large aquaria and live turtles
  • Manage and maintain program materials, set-up, and take-down for programs
  • Lead onsite programs for small groups