With the opeing of the David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins, the Human Origins Program is initiating a diverse collection of programs and resources targeted to different audiences in a variety of formats (e.g., exhibition-based volunteers, lectures, symposia, activities and materials for teachers and schools, and this website). At the same time, given the well-documented lack of public understanding of evolution and human origins combined with the ongoing and long-term commitment of the Smithsonian across its research, exhibition, and education enterprises, we have the opportunity to go well beyond the usual complement of activities to build an international network of educators that can function well beyond the exhibition and serve as a structure to encourage and sustain human origins education and outreach activities. We soon plan to launch this Human Origins Program Education Network (HopEdNet).
We envision that core members of the HopEdNet will be scientists and educators in the U.S. and worldwide, including classroom teachers and science educators, museum educators, media (producers and outlets), science education organizations, and be based at universities, museums, or labs and field research sites.
Working together, we envision the network as serving a variety of functions, including:
- conducting research on human origins/evolution education
- developing materials and resources for use in educational settings
- organizing professional development for educators on human origins/evolution, and researchers on education and outreach
- acting as a clearinghouse for information, activities, and resources
Specific activities could include:
- Developing and disseminating outreach resources such as curriculum materials, exhibitions, programs for different audiences
- Conducting content-focused workshops and professional development seminars for classroom- or museum- based educators, highlighting the most current work of researchers worldwide
- Conducting education-focused workshops and professional development seminars for researchers and their outreach colleagues on techniques and strategies drawing on the expertise of network educators and professional scientific organizations around the world
- Developing programs that could range from cross-national efforts to promote human origins education in classrooms to a series of regular webcasts from field sites around the world
- Developing content for this website which would showcase the research of all members and support network members’ efforts to develop digital resources
- Conducting and/or sponsoring research and polls on public knowledge and attitudes about human origins
- Convening and hosting public and/or network meetings, symposia, and conferences on human origins education, face-to-face and online
If you are interested in joining the HopEdNet, please Contact us.