The Program

The SEE program builds on 25 years of experience Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center 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) is a program of the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center (SEEC)
  • SEEC is a full-time museum school for infants – Kindergartners located in three locations on the Smithsonian campus.
  • Classes meet Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:30 am – 11:30 am in the National Museum of Natural History, Q?rius Jr. Room
  • Classes include caregiver and child
  • Classes meet from September – June and are divided into three 12-week trimesters
  • Families must commit to at least a single trimester.
  • For dates and tuition rates go here.

The Learning Environment

Classes meet in Q?rius Jr., a discovery room at the National Museum of Natural History. Regular trips out of the classroom are integral to the SEEC 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 Natural History Museum and should dress their child accordingly.

Curriculum

SEE places an emphasis on STEAM or, science, technology, engineering, art, and math. Each trimester will focus on a general theme that will be explored through a variety of perspectives. Embedded in these themes are opportunities for the children to work on important developmental skills that are essential to any early childhood classroom. Finally, we provide  open-ended experiences that give children the chance to play, explore, and create.

Daily Schedule

  • 9:30 – 10:00    Learning Centers
  • 10:00 – 10:20  Morning Meeting
  • 10:20 – 10:40  Snack and Bathroom
  • 10:40 – 11:30    Museum Visit

Arrival

Families will enter the Constitution Avenue entrance of the National Museum of Natural History. Security will be notified and you will have permission to enter before public hours and a SEEC educator will be there to greet you until 9:35. Late arrivals can proceed to the Q?rius Jr. space.

It is the responsibility of the family to locate the group if they have already left for their off-site 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.

Educators

Lead Educator: Meredith Osbornemo

Meredith Osborne has been with SEEC since 2013. She began working as a lead infant teacher and then worked as a lead toddler teacher. Meredith is originally from Cleveland Heights, Ohio and came to Washington, DC to study Museum Education at the George Washington University where she received a Master of Arts in Teaching. She has worked with a variety of audiences including adults, children, and infants. She has taught Reggio Emilia inspired parent/child classes and adult literacy courses. Meredith has a variety of museum experiences. She worked as a museum education with the Children’s Museum of Cleveland. She was an intern at the National Air and Space Museum creating a Time and Navigation Family Day and at the Supreme Court of the United States where she worked under the curator and assisted the court photographer.

Assistant Educator: Christina Reitz cr

Christina has a BA in Art History and a certificate in Museum Studies from Indiana University. She began working with very young children with the District of Columbia Public Schools, where she co-taught with a Reggio Emilia preschool program for four years. She now assists with the Smithsonian Early Explorers (SEE) program.  Christina also volunteers for the Smithsonian Associates’ Studio Arts classes, and is a docent at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

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.