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.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How can I begin using the Smithsonian Quests™ Program?
    Update, 08/31/2015: The Smithsonian Quests™ Program is no longer receiving new registrations.

  • What does the Smithsonian Quests™ online platform look like and how will my class navigate through the Learning Quests?
    Our team has created a quick tutorial to show you and your students how to get started once you are signed in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6wLHnxjdoE

  • What age group are Smithsonian Quests™ for?
    Students of all ages! Smithsonian Quests™ reach an audience of Kindergarteners to College Students and life-long learners. We aim for most middle school classrooms to identify with our content; however, because of the nature of the topics, there are levels of complexity that are considered as our Smithsonian Educator Advisory Committee assesses the submissions. Grade level is taken into account as we coach students to complete their “quests” in a meaningful way based on their grade level in order to earn their badge.

  • What types of activities will my student be asked to complete?
    Students will make connections to the environmental education content featured in our Online Education Conferences through various subject areas. The program aligns with many environmental education standards, as well as national education standards in a variety of subjects and highlights 21st century skills. There will always be some type of “artifact” that the student will produce, whether through a creative writing assignment, a photograph, artwork, a graph, etc. that will be submitted online for approval.

  • I’m ready to set up my students’ accounts, but how do I do so?On the main page, you’ll click on “I am a Student” and “Create Account”. You’ll then be asked to complete demographic information such as First Name, Last Name, Email Address, Date of Birth. You will also enter the unique “Student Invite Code” that each teacher receives in their Welcome Toolkit Email. This will ensure that the student is included in their class’ online group.

  • As a parent, I am concerned about the privacy of my student.
    What measures are taken to protect the student’s privacy?

    Students, 13 and under, are asked for their parent/guardian’s email address as well and parents will select to allow their children to participate. We encourage all users to create usernames that do not use any part of their real name, as it can be viewed by others–The Educator Advisory Committee and the student’s classmates. For example, Mary Hubble should NOT use MHubble or MaryH but rather something creative like H2OHero123 that does not include any personally identifiable information.

  • Still have questions?
    We are more than happy to help you and your students use the Smithsonian Quests™ as a supplement to their learning and a resource for making real world applications. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact learning@si.edu.

Happy Learning!