1. How much does a program cost?
Programs are tailored to the interests and objectives of the sponsoring school(s) and can range from a single presentation to a multiple-day, multiple-speaker series of events. Costs vary depending on the format, size, length, and complexity of the program and can range from approximately $3,000 to $40,000.
2. What does the fee cover?
This all-inclusive fee includes speaker honorarium, per diem, travel expenses, and program coordination.
3. Does the Smithsonian Institution provide free or discounted Scholars in the Schools programs to at-risk schools?
Unfortunately, the Institution is not able to provide this service as federal funds are not available for this self-supporting program. We suggest researching grant opportunities available through the Department of Education, private corporations, and philanthropic organizations to obtain funding.
4. Do the speakers come to my school?
Yes! Depending on the scope of the program, speakers visit one to several schools in a community.
5. Where do the programs take place?
Programs often occur in the classroom or science lab. Depending on the size of the group, school cafeteria, auditorium, library, or other appropriate meeting space may be used.
6. Can I request/select the speaker?
If you have a specific request, we will do our best to honor it. Speakers are generally selected by the specific topics chosen, their expertise in these subjects, and their ability to engage the targeted audience.
7. What topics are available?
Just about any topic covered in the Smithsonian Institution's museums, collections, and research in art, culture, history (primarily American history), and Earth and space science.
8. How long are the programs?
Programs are custom-designed in response to a school’s or district’s requests. For example, a program might feature one Smithsonian expert for a single presentation on a given day or multiple experts giving presentations each day over several days. Working with a Smithsonian Program Coordinator, you determine the breadth of the program that best meets your school community’s goals.
9. How many times does a scholar present each day?
Each scholar presents a maximum of three times per day. Sessions usually last 40 to 90 minutes depending on the topic, included activity, and school schedule.
10. Who designs the programs? How are they designed?
Smithsonian Program Coordinators consult with school district representatives and local educators to determine topics, dates, and the number of experts that will best meet a school or district’s objectives. Planning may include a site visit by one of our coordinators to develop a successful program that supports curriculum, reflects community interests, and directly involves the participating organizations. Scholars are then invited to participate, individual schools or classes are selected, and a schedule is confirmed.
11. How long does it take to plan a program?
Six months notice prior to the start of a program is preferred. A program might be planned in as little as three months, depending on the complexity of the program and the availability of scholars.
12. Who participates in the programs?
Participants are generally students in grades 4 - 12. Teacher-only and public events may also be included.