The Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies announces the debut of “Where’s Smithy?” at its Web site www.SmithsonianEducation.org/Smithy. In this scavenger hunt and “photo challenge,” kids discover that a mischievous border collie named Smithy has run away and is at large somewhere at the Smithsonian. The object is to figure out where Smithy is and then follow him by visiting Smithsonian museums on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
The player examines photos of Smithy at three Smithsonian locations. Each photo is accompanied by a cryptic clue. For example:
In a museum that’s home to a great many bones,
We prefer that all dogs come with chaperones.
The site encourages families to work on the clues together in preparation for a visit to the Institution. The Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies will send a prize—an official “Smithy Frisbee”—to players who photograph themselves at the exact spots where Smithy stood and then upload the photos they have taken to a Flickr page.
Dog lovers of all ages can explore “Where’s Smithy?” to sample some of the Smithsonian’s hundreds of dog artifacts and representations of dogs, which range from dog whistles to dogs by Whistler. Visitors to the site will find an aviator dog, a mailman dog, some mythological dogs and dogs painted by George Catlin and Mary Cassatt.
The site also includes downloadable activity pages for young children.
The Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies is the central gateway to the Smithsonian for teachers, students and families. It publishes Smithsonian in Your Classroom, a magazine for teachers that is distributed free of charge to every elementary and middle school in America. Its Webby Award-winning Web site, www.SmithsonianEducation.org, attracts 3 million visitors each year.