Smithsonian National Education Summit
Arts + Industries Building & Online

Arts + Industries Building & Online

2023 National Education Summit
Together We Thrive: Fostering a Sense of Belonging

Get ready for an exceptional professional learning opportunity! Join us online or in person from July 18-20, 2023 for our free, three-day Smithsonian National Education Summit. This annual education conference offers in-person workshops at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C., as well as online-specific sessions, so you can choose the format that best suits your needs. Once you have registered, head to the "My Agenda" tab and click "Save a Seat" for the sessions you'd like to attend. 

PreK-12 educators, librarians, media specialists, and policymakers nationwide are invited to participate in sessions exploring four distinct tracks including:

Life on a Sustainable PlanetSTEAM EducationReckoning with Our Racial PastAn Integrated Arts Education

Ready to build your schedule? Register and head into the Virtual Lobby.  Some sessions have capacity limits, so be sure to register today and tell a friend! Need help? FAQ here
Enter the event here!
Keynote Speakers
Secretary Lonnie G Bunch III Smithsonian SecretaryRebecka Peterson 2023 National Teacher of the YearMaulik Pancholy Actor Author ActivistDr Pamela Cantor Psychiatrist Author and Thought LeaderMary Keenan Former Head of Online Education at FenderEd Magee Fender Play Foundation Executive Director
Four Distinct Tracks

Life on a Sustainable PlanetSTEAM EducationReckoning with Our Racial PastAn Integrated Arts Education

Monique M Chism PhD Under Secretary for Education Smithsonian Institution

Welcome to
your Smithsonian and the 2023 Smithsonian National Education Summit, Together We Thrive: Fostering a Sense of Belonging.

Our Summit theme, “Together We Thrive” stems from an emerging body of research in the Science of Learning and Development that validates an optimistic outlook about the potential of all learners. The research tells us that all students can thrive across all disciplines, provided they have the right circumstances, contexts, and support.

While the Summit comes at a time of uncertainty and challenge in our nation, it also comes at a time of great hope and imagination to rethink all that is possible in education and the shared future we hope to inspire and make reality.

The three-day program, offered both in-person and online from July 18-20, 2023, celebrates and honors educators and highlights instructional strategies and resources that will help ensure all learners have the opportunity to thrive.

Featured keynote speakers include award-winning actor, author, and anti-bullying activist Maulik Pancholy; the 2023 Council of Chief State School Officers’ National Teacher of the Year Rebecka Peterson; education researcher and thought leader Dr. Pamela Cantor; education advocate Ed Magee of the Fender Play Foundation; and our own Smithsonian leader, Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch, III.

We will also feature special invited sessions from leading education and innovation collaborators, such as The Bolden Group, the Council for Chief State School Officers, D.C. Public Schools, Ford's Theatre, the Library of Congress, National Council for Teachers of English, National Council for the Social Studies, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Science Teaching Association, North American Association for Environmental Education, and The Professional Development Collaborative at Washington International School.

Finally, we will be joined by a panel of students who will share their own personal learning journeys, discuss their experiences with Smithsonian programs, and provide insights into the types of intentionally designed learning environments that can foster empowering, culturally-affirming, transformative, and personalized experiences.

The Summit will draw thousands of educators from across the nation, including  teachers, curriculum specialists, librarians, state education agencies, administrators, and museum and cultural educators. The event is free and occurs virtually or in-person on the National Mall at two iconic Smithsonian locations: the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, a leading voice in contemporary art and culture; and the Arts and Industries Building, our country’s first U.S. National Museum that has served as a creative exchange between ideas and objects from our past and future for over a century.

In-person participants can engage in curated workshops, keynote presentations, and partake in several unique behind-the-scenes tours, including play-based learning at the Smithsonian National Zoo’s new Bird House exhibit, arts integration at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and collections-based learning and gameplay with the National Museum of Natural History’s ocean collections. There is truly something for everyone at the Smithsonian.

Once again, welcome to the Smithsonian National Education Summit. We look forward to an enriching and inspiring experience, as we work together to create education systems that enable all students to thrive. 


Monique M. Chism, PhD
Under Secretary for Education
Smithsonian Institution 


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in-person + online
Arts + Industries Building & Online