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State Historical Society Announces New Teacher’s Workshop in Collaboration with Smithsonian

PIERRE, S.D. -- The Museum of the South Dakota State Historical Society, located at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre, will host a four-day teacher workshop led by a Smithsonian EdLab educator from July 22-25.

The workshop’s theme, “Mission Possible: Teaching in the 21st Century,” focuses on the partnerships possible between museums and schools using museum exhibitions, community research and digital tools to create new connections in the classroom. Teachers will collaborate to solve missions while using mobile technologies and digital media. By the workshop's end, those South Dakota educators attending will have a mission-based plan for incorporating museum resources, mobile technology and digital media into the 21st century classroom.

The Smithsonian EdLab is a product of a three-year partnership between the Smithsonian Institution and the Pearson Foundation. EdLab’s goal is to change teacher practice and student learning through experimentation, evaluation and dissemination of new media practices. From this partnership emerged a program integrating technology and media experience of the Pearson Foundation with the object- and project-rich resources of the Smithsonian Institution. These creative workshops provide a risk-free environment for teachers to explore relationships between their expertise in subject matter and curriculum with new technologies and museum-based learning techniques.

Kim Skerritt, program educator at Smithsonian EdLab, will lead the workshop. Skerritt has three years of experience developing, implementing and evaluating innovative technology programs for teachers and students. She brings her education and technology expertise to projects across the Smithsonian, such as the “Fire & Ice” exhibit at the National Postal Museum, the Smithsonian-wide iTunes U channel and the “Our American Journey” initiative.

“Working with Smithsonian EdLab through this workshop is a great first step in building our capacity to provide new learning opportunities for students in South Dakota,“ commented Jay Smith, museum director. “We will build on this experience in developing future programming opportunities with some of the museums in the Smithsonian system to further capitalize on our new affiliation.”

The Museum of the South Dakota State Historical Society became a Smithsonian Affiliate in January and is the only Smithsonian Affiliate in South Dakota..

About Smithsonian Affiliations

Established in 1996, Smithsonian Affiliations is a national outreach program that develops collaborative partnerships with museums and educational and cultural organizations to share Smithsonian Institution resources with Americans in their own communities. Smithsonian Affiliations works with affiliates to enrich communities with Smithsonian scholars, public programs, and professional development opportunities. More information about the Smithsonian Affiliations program and a list of current
affiliates are available at


The South Dakota State Historical Society is a division of the Department of Tourism. The Department of Tourism is comprised of Tourism, the South Dakota Arts Council, and the State Historical Society. The Department is led by Secretary James D. Hagen. The State Historical Society, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is headquartered at the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre. The center houses the society’s world-class museum, the archives, and the historic preservation, publishing and administrative/development offices. Call (605) 773-3458 or visit for more information. The society also has an archaeology office in Rapid City; call (605) 394-1936 for more information.

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