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Michelle Knovic Smith Education Technology Internship

Michelle Knovic Smith (1950–2021), as an educator, mentor, and leader, in her more than three decades at the Smithsonian, pioneered innovative and effective approaches to the Smithsonian's mission of the “diffusion of knowledge.” First, as Publications Director for the Institution’s teacher magazines, Art to Zoo and Smithsonian in Your Classroom, Michelle developed publications and distribution strategies that reached every school in the country. Later, as Associate Director at the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access, she pioneered the development of the Smithsonian’s first web-based platforms and tools that ensured that every classroom across the nation could access the wealth of resources provided digitally by Smithsonian museums. As a colleague, she was a dedicated and influential mentor who guided and encouraged multiple generations of Smithsonian educators and technologists. 

The Smithsonian Women's Committee generously supports the Michelle Knovic Smith Education Technology Internship. 


The Michelle Knovic Smith Education Technology Internship exists to honor this legacy. It provides a paid summer internship for one student interested in education, technology, and museum outreach to work alongside and learn with the team from the Smithsonian Office of Educational Technology (OET). OET’s mission is to deepen, enrich, and personalize learning by encouraging and supporting the creative use of museum resources through research and collaboration with education partners. Interns will participate in all aspects of this work, including serving the Smithsonian community and the nation's classroom educators to increase collaboration, skills, and agility in using digital resources for educational purposes through guidance, assistance, and training. They will also work with museum educators and technologists to support and evolve the Webby Award-winning Smithsonian Learning Lab software platform. 

Note that this opportunity does NOT require specific technical skills or experience. 

Summer 2024

The Smithsonian Learning Lab is an interactive online educational software platform that provides direct access to millions of the Smithsonian’s diverse, multi-disciplinary, digitized museum resources. Since the Learning Lab launched in 2016, museum and classroom educators alike have used its free tools to create tens of thousands of learning experiences—“collections”—using Smithsonian resources for teaching and learning. To date, the Learning Lab includes over 6.2 million resources, has served more than four million people, and counts over 160,000 registered users. 

As the Smithsonian seeks to play a significant role in every classroom in the nation, the time is right for a rethinking of how the Smithsonian makes available, and invites adaptation of, its rich user-created collections, resources, and other targeted learning experiences on the Smithsonian Learning Lab. The Michelle Knovic Smith Education Technology Intern will play an integral role in the reimagining of the Learning Lab, working alongside staff in OET. 

The intern will be involved in multiple research projects currently being conducted by OET that will inform the redesign of the Learning Lab—Learning Lab 2.0—to make its resources, collections, and other targeted learning resources more readily discoverable to, and usable by, PK–12 educators from a range of disciplines. Following a period of market research and an environmental scan of the landscape of online educational tools, OET is now conducting user research, planning and facilitating formal evaluation with Smithsonian staff and external education partners. OET has also embarked upon an assessment of web accessibility to ensure that Learning Lab 2.0 is discoverable and fully usable by PK–12 educators and students. 


To be considered for this opportunity, students must be: 

  • U.S. Citizens and U.S. permanent residents; and 
  • Enrolled in a community college, or four-year college or university, as a rising first year/freshman through rising college fourth year/senior; or 
  • Enrolled in a graduate school with a concentration or research focus on museums, education, or technology. 
  • Students who graduated in 2024 prior to the start of the internship period or will graduate during it, will be considered. 

How it Works

The Office of Educational Technology (OET) each year identifies potential projects for the Michelle Knovic Smith Education Technology Internship awardee. In Summer 2024, this internship will be offered in a hybrid setting, in which the intern will join OET staff in the office in Washington, D.C., two days a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays), for eight weeks. During the other three days, work will be performed remotely. The 2024 program dates will be 6/3 – 7/26/2024. The internship commitment is 40 hours per week, Monday–Friday. 


$800/week (full-time) = $6,400; Maximum eight-week internship period. 


Transportation to and housing in Washington, D.C., will NOT be provided.  

Background Investigation

All academic appointees, including interns, must undergo a security background investigation and fingerprinting through the Smithsonian’s Office of Protection Services. 

For more information about Smithsonian Internships, please visit   

How to Apply

Apply online through the Smithsonian Online Academic Appointment System (SOLAA). Please carefully review the project description(s) before applying. 

Once you have created an account in SOLAA, you will need to upload and complete all the required information, including: 

  • Current resume (do not include a photo) 
  • Statement of Purpose (length: no more than 500 words) that includes: 
    • Academic and career goals and interests;  
    • Internship goals (1–3 learning objectives) and how the internship relates to your academic and career goals; and  
    • What about the Smithsonian in particular interests you and leads you to apply for an internship in the education technology field? 
  • Letter of recommendation (1) from a professor, mentor, or advisor submitted before the deadline. 
  • Transcript (unofficial) 

Applications will be accepted from November 15, 2023 (9:00 AM ET) until February 12, 2024 (5:00 PM ET). Complete applications are those submitted in SOLAA with supporting materials of resume, essay, one letter of recommendation, and unofficial transcript. OET will interview finalist candidates via video conference. All applicants and selected candidates will be notified on or before March 15, 2024, through an email from the SOLAA system. 


For questions regarding this opportunity, please contact Philippa Rappoport, Lead for Education and Engagement, Smithsonian Office of Educational Technology, at

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