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Nestled in the nation's capital in the richest museum complex in the world is the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center, a model early childhood program that places children at the center of every experience. The vast collections are the foundation for the culturally diverse curriculum, which offers a rare opportunity for learning.
Our ordinary is extraordinary.
Welcome to the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center (SEEC)! Here we offer a rich learning environment for children, parents, and teachers in our community while at the same time sharing our innovative practices with professionals in schools and museums across the country.
At SEEC the community is a vital part of our everyday lives. Our teachers explore learning as it occurs at the intersection of museum education and early learning best practices on a daily basis. Over the past 24 years, educators at the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center have engaged students in meaningful museum experiences based upon educational strategies and techniques that work effectively for children under 6 years of age.
The children at SEEC learn about their world in an educational setting that is unparalleled. They are introduced to new ideas through personal conversations with scientists, artists, and cultural historians who share their passion for learning in concrete, engaging ways. SEEC children learn about the era of dinosaurs through personal encounters with paleontologists where they are able to see the tools used to examine the past. Kindergartners become ‘scientists’ in a visit to the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center where they explore nature intimately, make observations, test hypotheses, and discuss ideas with an entomologist. Throughout the year, SEEC children become familiar with people and cultures from around the world through the wondrous collections on the Mall.
As an organization, SEEC is a leader in the field of museum-based education and influences practice within museums and schools. Our educators apply best practices recognized in the early childhood field and enrich the children’s learning through an object-based approach to teaching, sharing the rich stories associated with these objects in ways that make the curriculum deeper and richer. Museum educators within the program build on the practice established within the SEEC model, serving as content experts on the museums and blending theory and practice as a basis for outside consulting and professional development.
For us, it is exciting to see the impact that museums have in the lives of our youngest learners. Not only are children exposed to art, history, and science of their own culture, but they also are able to gain an understanding of our global society. We invite you to come visit us and learn more about our approach to early learning. Please explore our website to learn more about the SEEC program and take advantage of the many opportunities that we offer parents and educators. At SEEC our ordinary is truly extraordinary.