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Smithsonian Summer Adventures - Presented by Smithsonian Associates
Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Instructors

Interested in becoming an instructor on the Smithsonian Summer Adventure team?
Send your resume and cover letter to TSAcamp@si.edu.

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Christine Alexander

Christine Alexander is a Teaching Artist in the DMV, and proud founding company member of the Smithsonian's Creative Tools for Teaching program, which brings theatre-based professional development to Pre-K teachers in DCPS. She has a BA in Theatre from GWU, and uses her training in improvisation to increase and enhance child-led and play-based learning in a multitude of settings. This spring she developed engaging online teaching strategies by leading workshops for children ages 4-7 for Washington Revels. An outdoors enthusiast, Christine hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2017, and is currently familiarizing herself with the trails in Rock Creek Park.

Jessica Andrews

Jessica Andrews is a Baltimore-based artist and educator with a passion for arts integration and studio-based learning. She has taught at the Smithsonian Summer Camp since 2015, at after-school programs and in schools in Baltimore City, and in the Maryland Science Center DIY space. When not teaching art, Jessica can be found knitting, hiking, or swing dancing around the DMV.

Zachary Arlt

Zach Arlt graduates from George Mason University in May with a BA in History. Last summer was the first in seven years that Zach did not work at a summer camp, because he was here in DC interning with Discovery Theater learning all about museum theater. He hails from the great state of New Jersey, and while he misses the bagels dearly, he is excited to be back in the summer camp world and for his first year as a Camp Instructor at the Smithsonian!

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Lucy Dirksen

Lucy Dirksen is a DC native illustrator, jewelry designer, and art teacher for Kindergarten-8th grade at St. Mary’s Landover Hills, MD. Her current watercolor project is a children’s book: Patches and the Baby Bunny, by Cathy D. Knepper, Ph.D. Her website is www.lfdstudios.com.

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Mariana Fernandez

Bio coming soon.

Brooke Friday

Brooke Friday recently received her BA at American University where she studied Education and Theater. She has designed and taught camps in Rhode Island for 2 summers. Brooke is passionate about sharing her love for Museums and learning with her students and looks forward to returning to her third year at the Smithsonian Camps.

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Que Gaskins

Que Gaskins is a conceptual artist who loves to work with fabric and paper. She enjoys sharing techniques and skills she has learned along the way and would like to enjoy creating her own masterpieces with no distractions one day.

Al Gaspar

Al Gaspar uses his carpentry and diorama-making skills in shop classes, adult education, and at Smithsonian camps. He encourages all ages to participate in his classes with the use of miniature settings, history, literature, and humor. Since 2001 he continues to teach and build miniature battlefields for the Soldiers and Dioramas camps.

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Margaret Huey

Margaret Huey is an illustrator, comic artist, and recent graduate from the Maryland Institute College of Art, specializing in work using ink, gouache, and digital mediums. She loves bringing global narratives into the classroom with comics and creative applications! Currently, Margaret is also organizing Malulee's Kitchen, an illustrated cookbook and series of cooking lessons all about Asian-American food in the Baltimore-DC Area. She loves teaching at Smithsonian Summer Camps and can't wait to get started with this year's camps!

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Oscar Keyes

Oscar Keyes is a doctoral student at Virginia Commonwealth University in Art Education, who looks at the historical use of the camera in education. Currently, he teaches courses at VCU on photography, time-based arts, and technology in the arts classroom. During the summers, he works with young makers at film camps and digital arts workshops across the southeast.

Taliesin Knol

Taliesin has been working in the Smithsonian Summer Camp diorama classes for more than 10 years, covering topics from pre-history to WWII and almost everything in between. During the school year, Taliesin teaches more diorama and history classes at Compass Homeschool Enrichment in Oakton, Virginia.

Drew Kopas

Drew Kopas is professional actor originally from Cleveland who has performed throughout the District/Maryland/Virginia area. You may have seen onstage at Shakespeare Theatre Company, Wolloy Mammoth Theatre Company, Theatre J, Constellation Theatre, Faction of Fools, Olney Theatre Center, Keegan Theatre, Everyman Theatre, Capital Fringe Festival, or Clown Cabaret. He holds an MFA in Acting from Western Illinois University and teaches bedside manner, empathy and physical exam maneuvers to first-year medical students at George Washington University.

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Luke Meeken

Luke Meeken has been teaching digital art and video game camps with the Smithsonian Associates for seven years now. He used to be a high school graphic arts teacher in Hanover County, VA, but is now a doctoral student in Art Education at Penn State.

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Elizabeth Owens

Elizabeth Owens is an experimental musician & multimedia arts instructor with a panache for lighting (safe) creative fires in kids and teens. An artist of many hats, Owens teaches General Music to grades PK–8 at a small private school, piano lessons in the evening, runs a nonprofit record label for LGBTQPOC artists, produces and manages their own music project, and works on audio & video post-production on the side.

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Patrick Prebula

Bio coming soon.

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Betty Simmons

Betty Simmons has been a working photographer and educator of photography for over 30 years, with experience in all forms of analog and digital photography. She has a special love for alternative and historical photography techniques, including infa-red. She has been a Smithsonian Associate instructor since 2005.

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Harmony Tahy

Harmony Tahy is a 7th grade U.S. History teacher in Fairfax County Public Schools and is a member of the local 4H. She loves teaching middle schoolers and baking. In fact, Harmony has been a successful repeat competitor in her home state for the Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest.