Smithsonian Resources and The Big History Project


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List of Smithsonian Institute resources aligned to the Big History Project.

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Smithsonian Resources and The Big History Project

  1. 1. Smithsonian Resources and The Big History Project Creation Myths No websites, but I know we have objects related to creation myths in our collections at the National Museum of the American Indian, National Museum of African Art, Sackler Freer Museum (Asian Art), and in the anthropological collections at the National Museum of Natural History. The Inanimate Universe Origins of the Universe COSMIC QUESTIONS: OUR PLACE IN SPACE AND TIME addresses the composition of the universe and its vast scales of space and time. Lessons explore: 1) how astronomers use physical and anatomical tools to “learn from light; 2) the interplay of models, evidence and explanation in forming our understanding of the universe; 3) “how we know” about the universe; and 4) various perspectives (historical, personal, cultural, artistic, etc.) on age-old cosmic questions. Students are encouraged to explore their own ideas about the universe and why answers to cosmic questions matter. Mapping the universe The Evolving Universe – journey back to the beginning of the universe about 13.6 million years ago. Origins of the Galaxies Birth of the Solar System
  2. 2. Origins of the Earth Earth  How to Make a Planet  Plate Techtonics and Volcanoes  Build a Volcano  Interactive Map of Volcanoes  Video gallery of eruptions  Photo gallery of types and processes of volcanoes  The evolution of terrestial ecosystems Oceans  The Oceans Over Time timeline Atmosphere  Change is in the Air
  3. 3. Life on Earth Theory of Evolution Videos  Dr. Rick Potts introducing some of the evidence for human evolution, in the form of fossils and artifacts. human-evolution  Comparison of human and primate behavior. Evidence  Evidence of evolution: behavior (primate behavior, early footprints, stone tools, carrying and storing vessels, hearths and shelters, burial objects, methods of recording, tools for making clothing, art and music), dating, human fossils, and genetics.  Evidence of what it means to be human: walking upright, tools and food, bodies, brains, social life, language and symbols and humans change the world.  3D Collection of fossils, artifacts and primates.
  4. 4. Evolution of Life and Biosphere Board Game  Evolve or Perish Board Game (downloadable) Interactives  Mystery skull interactive fossils/mystery-skull-interactive  Human Family Tree fossils/species/ardipithecus-kadabba  Human evolution timeline evolution-timeline-interactive  Top Predators Timeline timeline  Did Whale Evolution Go Backwards whale-evolution-go-backwards Digital Collections  A collection of resources that explore the patterns and processes that created the diversity of life on Earth. Topics range from the evolution of life in the sea through the rise and reign of reptiles to the modern age of mammals. Lessons (Grades 9-12):  Alike, but not the same Students conduct a class inventory of human traits, construct histograms of the data they collect, and play a brief game that introduces the notion of each individual's uniqueness.  What does it mean to be human? Students plot the distribution of major hominid taxa on a world map to hypothesize about the origin and movement of prehuman ancestors.   The meaning of genetic variation Students investigate variation in the beta globin gene by identifying base changes that do and do not alter
  5. 5. Evolution of Life and Biosphere  It’s all in your head: An investigation of human ancestry Students describe, measure and compare cranial casts from contemporary apes, modern humans, and fossil hominids to discover some of the similarities and differences between these forms and to see the pattern leading to modern humans. Human Origins Exhibit  Educators’ Guide Pre, during and post activities for visiting the David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins in the National Museum of Natural History. Some of the background information and lessons could be adapted for more general use. e.pdf  Floorplan of Human Origins exhibition interactive
  6. 6. Origin of Agriculture The Human Connection  A collection of resources that explore the interactive forces that shape, generate, constrain and sustain human cultures. Topics range from ancient to modern cultures from around the world.  Database of Archeobiology Collection includes over 4000 cubic feet of world class archaeobiological collections. These collections boast some of the earliest examples of domesticated plants and animals in the Old and New Worlds, as well as important archaeobiological collections from early hunter-gatherer to early urban Cites, States and Civilizations Artifacts that document cultural traditions around the world, but no coherent overall storyline. Collections from National Museum of African Art, Sackler-Freer Gallery of Asian Art, National Museum of the American Indian (Western Hemisphere), anthropological collections in the National Museum of Natural History. Globalization, Commercialization Seeds of Change Garden Lessons that illustrate the Old World and New World origins of the foods we eat and the impact Columbus' voyages had on the diets, cuisines, and ethnic make-up of our world today.
  7. 7. Modern World Changes in Communication More than 7,000 objects chart the evolution of electronic communications, including the original telegraph of Samuel Morse and Alexander Graham Bell's early telephones. Radios, televisions, tape recorders, and the tools of the computer age are part of the collections, along with wireless phones and a satellite tracking system. National Museum of American History see 20th Century Changes in the Arctic: A Friend Acting Strangely The Future Design for the Other 90% Of the world’s total population of 6.5 billion, 5.8 billion people, or 90%, have little or no access to most of the products and services many of us take for granted; in fact, nearly half do not have regular access to food, clean water, or shelter. Design for the Other 90% explores a growing movement among designers to design low-cost solutions for this “other 90%.” Through partnerships both local and global, individuals and organizations are finding unique ways to address the basic challenges of survival and progress faced by the world’s poor and marginalized. See panel discussion with designers societies around the world.
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