Profile profile for KotchoC

Carrie Kotcho

Acting Associate Director for Audience Engagement and A. James Clark Director of Education & Outreach

M.A.T., Summa Cum Laude, Museum Education,
George Washington University, 2006

B.S., Telecommunications (Electronic Media),
Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, 1986

Role in Museum: 

I manage the museum's Education Outreach team. We form a link between the museum and learners ages 4-18 for the purpose of improving American history learning. We draw upon the exhibitions, scholarship, artifacts and programs of the museum to create American history resources that benefit young learners, especially those who will never have the opportunity to visit Washington, DC.


The Education Outreach team believes that the study of American history is an active pursuit, much like science or mathematics.  Once basic skills and habits of mind are established, one must “do history” to fully grasp its relevance to contemporary life.  Social studies as a subject, helps students understand how people interact with each other and the world…in the past, today, and in the future. When students and teachers “do history” together, they practice the type of critical thinking, problem solving, communication and collaboration skills set forth in the P21 Framework  and by the National Council for the Social Studies.

We train teachers, both online and in-person, to  provide young learners with engaging, experiential and authentic learning activities that inspire them to learn more. Our "Let's Do History" program is one example of the many ways we reach out to teachers nationwide.

Students who are motivated to “learn more” become self-directed learners much like the scientists, historians, and educators at the Smithsonian. They follow their curiosity, ask important questions, and are hungry for trusted sources of information.

Our free, online resources for teaching and learning American history can be found on our K-12 website, Smithsonian's History Explorer.

Awards, Honors, and Special Recognition: 

AXIEM AWARD™, recognizing Absolute eXcellence In Electronic Media™

Center for Digital Education "Best of the Web 2012,"  Smithsonian's History Explorer website.

Center for Digital Education "Best of the Web 2012,"  Tracking the Buffalo website.

Professional Affiliations: 

American Alliance of Museums: Education, Media & Technology
Museum Education Roundtable
National Council for History Education
National Council for the Social Studies
International Society for Technology in Education


The Internet as Tool for the Social Construction of Knowledge Farquhar, John, Carrie Kotcho, and Brendan McGinty. The Internet as a Tool for the Social Construction of Knowledge. Proceedings of Selected Research and Development Presentations at the 1996 National Convention of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology. 18th, Indianapolis, IN: 1996.

An early exploration of how Internet technologies might be used to promote learning through socially-mediated interactions. Identifies potential use of the Web for social networking and learning as well as naming bandwidth as a major factor in the quality of interactions.
Read full report. (PDF, 8 pages)