Badge: Oral Historian

Smithsonian Quests Program in Transition
In the 2015–16 school year, the Smithsonian Quests program will transition to a new online platform, the Smithsonian Learning Lab. At the Lab, you will be able to work with more than 1 million digitized collection objects, videos, and podcasts, and more than 2,000 lesson plans and student activities, including the Smithsonian Quests program. Your Smithsonian Quests username will move automatically to the Learning Lab.


After November 2, 2015, you will not have access to SmithsonianQuests.org. During this transition period, we suggest that you save any projects or submissions to your own file storage system. To learn more, visit the FAQ page by clicking here.

Badge Description

Studying the past makes it possible for us to understand the human story across time. Oral histories provide a more personal connection between the past and present and help us think about what legacy will be left for future generations. In this badge, you will make connections about the impact water issues have had on people in different time periods, and, in turn, about how people in different times and places have affected our water resources.

You will listen to primary source accounts of what a life at sea meant for people in the late 18th century, as reenacted by dramatic readings from various perspectives. You will highlight someone in your community that has a water-dependent career. Finally, you will provide an artifact for future historians to gain a better understanding of life today.

Completing this Badge successfully means…

You understand how to use context to make insightful connections among different time periods.