Smithsonian Summer Adventures Offer Live Virtual Learning Experiences for Kids

Kids Can Spend the Hottest Hours of the Summer With the Smithsonian—Online
May 29, 2020
News Release
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model of the solar system

Smithsonian Associates presents Smithsonian Summer Adventures, a new series of weeklong virtual learning experiences introducing the world of the Smithsonian to children entering kindergarten through 11th grade in the fall. Over 50 live, interactive adventures will be held Monday, June 29–Friday, Aug. 21. Kids and teens can explore Smithsonian collections and themes during these specially designed sessions—live, facilitated activities with peers take place online along with additional challenges and projects to continue offline.

For the youngest adventurers (grades K–2), Smithsonian themes are explored through stories, songs, movement, games, craft, object discovery and virtual museum visits. Each week focuses on a different theme—from the oceans to outer space, from mammals to dinosaurs and more—through one hour of live online interaction with instructors. Sessions include “ABCs of the Smithsonian,” “Out of This World,” “Junior Paleontologists,” “Pattern Hunters” and “Worlds Underwater.”  

Students (grades 3–6) can take on the “Great Smithsonian Caper!” Kids can discover the amazing Smithsonian collection while trying to thwart a master villain. Weekly offerings include virtual visits to Smithsonian museums, hands-on projects, conversations with experts, plus a digital escape room or scavenger hunt in which adventurers must work together to prevail. Two hours of live online interaction with a team of instructors and other peers plus daily challenges off-screen will foil the villain’s plans by the end of the week. Sessions include “Around the World in Five Days,” “Safari Sleuths,” “Cosmic Caper” and “Voyage on the High Seas.”

Teens (grades 7–11) can sign up for Smithsonian Masterclasses—weeklong focused studio courses where participants can develop specialized skills, socialize and interact with other teens and learn from professional practitioners. With two hours of daily live online workshops on coding, photography, painting, drawing, comics and more, teens practice, experiment and collaborate in the development of personal projects inspired by Smithsonian collections.  

History comes alive in one-week “Soldiers and Dioramas” sessions (grades 7–11) where teens find a new dimension—a miniature one—to learning about some of the most important battles in history. Participants receive two hours of live online history instruction and two hours of live online-facilitated diorama construction each day, making their own terrain boards and leading troops of 1/72-scale soldiers in war games that offer vivid insights into the military strategies and conflicts that have shaped the world.        

Prices for weeklong Smithsonian Summer Adventures vary depending on membership status and session length. Adventures for grades K–2, which are one-hour live sessions each day, are $95–$110 for non-members and $80–$95 for Smithsonian Associates members. Adventures for grades 3–6 and Masterclasses for grades 7–11, which are two-hour live sessions each day, are $135–$170 for non-members and $120–$150 for Associates members. “Soldiers and Dioramas at Home,” which include two days of four-hour live sessions, are $185 for non-members and $165 for members; this cost includes the prices of a mailed kit of diorama-building supplies. Online registration begins Wednesday, June 3, at 10 a.m. For more information, the public may visit

For 55 years, Smithsonian Associates—the largest museum-based education program in the world—has produced vibrant educational and cultural programming that brings the Smithsonian to life. Inspired by the Smithsonian’s research, collections and exhibitions nearly 1,000 public programs spark creativity and excite learning in people of all ages each year.

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Lauren Lyons

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