• High School/Grades 9-12

Smithsonian Science Education Center’s Smithsonian Youth STEM Exchange connects American and Iraqi youth for collaboration on projects that address environmental justice and biodiversity issues. Trained educators use the Smithsonian Science for Global Goals’ Environmental Justice! and Biodiversity! guides to give participants a framework for working with their international peers toward science-focused solutions for a more sustainable world. In partnership with the Iraq Space Center in Baghdad, Iraq, and the Arab-American Museum in Michigan, United States, this virtual exchange contributes to a global network of young people and educators dedicated to taking action on the biggest global issues of our time, like those found in the UN Sustainable Development Goals.


Educators implement a Smithsonian Science for Global Goals guide (either Environmental Justice! or Biodiversity!) with participants to deepen their understanding of these environmental issues by engaging in local investigations and global research through virtual exchanges with their peers using Zoom and Moodle platforms. Participants also explore their own identity, background knowledge, and the cultural context of their community. Ultimately, participants take action on an issue important to their community. These activities are guided by educators who receive in-depth virtual professional development to familiarize them with the curriculum, the pedagogical approaches, and how to build a Professional Learning Community (PLC).

Program Details

Number of Participants


U.S. States and Territories Reached
  • Michigan
Countries and Territories Reached
  • Iraq
Length of Exchange

12 weeks (two hours/week)