During the 2013-14 academic year, the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access and University of Maryland College of Education faculty will work with middle school students who are attending the PGCPS's newly opened College Park Academy to enable students to explore thousands of Smithsonian digital resources through guided, informal learning activities in history and STEM areas. Students will produce digital projects guided by their own interests, which will be acknowledged and rewarded through Smithsonian Digital Badges. Measures of learning and student interest will inform the developers about further refinement of the existing digital toolset that has been designed to scaffold the learning process.

Update 1/8/2015

The Smithsonian digital toolset prototype was tested with middle school audiences between June and October 2014 in College Park, MD and Chico, CA. This testing continued exploring middle school students' needs to become active creators of museum digital resources personalized for learning and informs the work on the Smithsonian Learning Lab project. The preliminary report can be found here.