Earlier this month, Smithsonian staff gathered in the Castle Commons in Washington, D.C., to honor the recipients of this year’s Smithsonian Education Awards: the Tropical Research Institute’s Public Programs Director Sharon Ryan, and The Q?rius Team of The Coralyn W. Whitney Science Education Center, National Museum of Natural History.
The Achievement Award, presented by Smithsonian Secretary David Skorton, recognizes Ryan for her consistent and outstanding performance in education. The in-person and digital projects she has implemented at STRI raise awareness about the amphibian crisis in Panama and have a direct impact on more than 100,000 teachers, students and local residents.
“Even though this award has my name on it, it really stands for the collaborative spirit that unites us all,” said Ryan in her acceptance speech, naming many of the employees, volunteers, and community partners that have helped, especially in making the Golden Frog Festival a major cultural event in Panama. “It exemplifies, albeit on a small scale, the amazing convening power of the Smithsonian and its unique ability to harness incomparable resources─in science, outreach, art, history and culture─to inspire people to take the actions needed to sustain biodiversity.”
The Q?rius Team, led by Shari Werb, received the Innovation Award for the development of an experiential and evolving space to bring together Smithsonian experts and the public (especially teens) through programs and activities that expand understanding of science and culture. Werb shares the award with her Q?rius colleagues and the more than 200 people who have contributed to the project.
Both awards, endowed by the Smithsonian Women’s Committee in honor of their 40th anniversary of service to the Smithsonian, recognize excellence in serving the United States through programming, exhibits, publications, or digital media. The awards are administered by the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access under Assistant Secretary for Education and Access, Claudine Brown.
Posted: 14 December 2015