Smithsonian Early Explorers

Coming Soon: Enrollment for the 2023-2024 School Year

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The Smithsonian Early Explorer (SEE) program builds on 30 years of experience Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center (SEEC) educators have in using museums and community resources to enrich the lives of young children and provide a positive foundation for life-long learning experiences.

Basic Information

  • The Smithsonian Early Explorers (SEE) and is a program of the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center (SEEC).
  • Classes meet twice a week on Monday and Tuesday from 9:30 – 11:30 and each class involves going on a museum visit.
  • To enroll for 2023-2024, children need to be at least 18 months old by September 18th, 2023. 
  • Classes include caregiver and child.


Each class will include play experiences and museum visits. Embedded in these experiences are opportunities for the children to work on important developmental skills that are essential to any early childhood classroom. Our approach also supports the child as an individual, encouraging their interests and curiosity. All this is done within the framework of community and museum visits. We believe these visits give young children strong concrete connections that enhance their learning. The content areas to which the children are exposed are as varied as the Smithsonian collections – science, technology, engineering, math, art, culture, and history.

Our program also focuses on the caretakers and hopes to build a community in which families feel supported. Through everyday interactions, conferences, and resources, our educators help caregivers better understand their child’s development and support them in being their child’s first teacher.

We ultimately hope to instill a love of learning and a sense of wonder in both the child and adult.

Enrollment & Tuition


  • Coming Soon!

2023-2024 Tuition Rates

  • Coming Soon!
  • Smithsonian Employees and siblings that are concurrently enrolled receive a 20% discount.

To be placed on our waitlist or to inquire about the 2023-2024 SEE program, please email 

The Learning Environment

Classes meet in Wegman’s Wonderplace at the National Museum of American History. Regular trips out of the classroom are integral to the SEE curriculum. Children learn about their world through frequent excursions beyond the classroom into the Smithsonian Institution, as well as into the greater community. Parents/Caregivers should plan on spending time in spaces outside of the classroom spaces and should dress their child accordingly.

2023-2024 Calendar

  • Coming Soon!

Daily Schedule

Classes meet from 9:30 – 11:30 am

  • Learning Centers
  • Morning Meeting
  • Museum Visit

Caregiver Role

Parents or caregivers must participate in all aspects of the child’s experience and are required to participate in museum and community visits. Cell phone use is restricted to emergency calls and use as a camera.


Lead Educator: Brianne Peck Bertuca

Brianne Peck Bertuca has been with SEEC since 2010, holding a variety of positions, from associate educator in a 3’s classroom to her current role as lead educator for in-person and virtual family programs. Brianne has worked in museum education since 2005, serving audiences of all ages from adults to our youngest learners. She began her career in museums at the Paul Revere House in Boston, MA, and has also worked at the Chicago History Museum. She holds a Master of Arts in History and Museum Studies from Tufts University. In her free time, Brianne loves to tackle house projects, spend time outdoors and share her passion for museums with her own three children, ages 10, 7 and 5.


Associate Educator: Dana Brightful

Dana Brightful joined SEEC in the fall of 2005. Over the last 17 years, she worked in the role of associate educator working with various age groups and support educator working to assist classroom educators in a variety of ways. In her most recent role, she worked as an 4s associate teacher at SEEC’s preschool site. Before stepping into the early childhood education field in 2002, she spent time studying Civil Engineering at Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD and is currently enrolled at Liberty University pursuing an associate degree in early childhood education. She was born in Baltimore City, MD but raised in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area, where her love for museums developed early through school field trips to the Smithsonian Institution’s various museums. When she is not in the nation’s capital working to help shape young minds, Dana likes to shop for home goods, listen to a variety of R&B music, try new projects from Pinterest and have pizza game nights with her two sons Trey (13) and Alex (8).

Children with Special Needs

The Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center welcomes children with diverse needs and seeks to support their growth through personalized interactions and collaboration with parents and external educational experts.

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