Smithsonian Associates is presenting Smithsonian Virtual Adventures, a new series of live after-school learning experiences introducing the world of the Smithsonian to children in kindergarten through 11th grade. Interactive and fun adventures will be offered through the digital platform, Zoom, Tuesday, Sept. 29–Wednesday, Dec. 16. Kids and teens can explore Smithsonian collections and themes during these specially designed sessions led by experienced instructors and museum educators.

For the youngest adventurers (grades K–1), the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center brings 30 years of experience engaging young children in the wonders of the Smithsonian to one-hour of live interaction three times per week. Educators lead explorations of objects and artworks in the Smithsonian’s collection that spark art making and experimentation. Sessions include “Jump into the Jam Session,” “Bats, Bones, Spiders, Oh My!,” “Simple Machines,” “Native American Artists” and “All the World’s a Stage.”

In multi-week programs, students (grades 2–5) can take a deep dive into Smithsonian’s collections to engage with unique content that focuses on the natural sciences, American democracy, art, and more. Virtual visits to museums, hands-on projects, games and challenges, and conversations with experts are all part of the two hours of live interaction led by a team of experienced educators, including experts from Friends of the National Zoo. Sessions, offered in two grade-appropriate versions, include “The Artist’s Eye,” “Timeline Travel,” “The Natural World,” “Global Safari” and “On the Move.” 

Preteens and teens (grades 6–9) can sign up for Smithsonian Masterclasses—focused studio courses where participants can develop specialized skills, socialize, and interact with other students and learn from professional practitioners. Two hours of live online workshops on 3D-explorable worlds or artmaking, cartoon, and performance allow preteens and teens to practice, experiment and collaborate in the development of personal projects inspired by Smithsonian collections. Sessions include “3D Worlds,” “Super Art Fight,” “Step Into the Ring” and “Digital Comics Expanded.”

History comes alive in “Soldiers and Dioramas: Land and Sea Battles” Saturday sessions (grades 6–11) where preteens and 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. 

All Adventures begin at 3:30 p.m. ET with the exception of “Soldiers and Dioramas,” which is held on Saturdays beginning at 10 a.m. ET.

Prices for Smithsonian Virtual Adventures vary depending on membership status and session length. Adventures for grades K–1, which are one-hour live sessions three days per week for two weeks, are $150 for non-members and $120 for Smithsonian Associates members. Adventures for grades 2–5, which are two-hour live sessions, are $200 for five weeks or $370 for 10 weeks (non-members) and $170 for five weeks or $340 for 10 weeks (Smithsonian Associates members). Masterclasses for grades 6–9, which are two-hour live sessions for 10 weeks are $370 for non-members and $340 for Smithsonian Associates members. The six-week Masterclass “3D Worlds” is $195 for non-members and $170 for members. “Soldiers and Dioramas,” which include two days of four-hour live sessions, are $195 for non-members and $165 for members; this cost includes the prices of a mailed kit of diorama-building supplies.

Online registration begins Wednesday, Sept. 9, at 10 a.m. ET. More information is available at

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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