QDigital STRI Panama


Open your virtual world
to a learning experience
that brings science to your home

Education and Outreach

Frogs of

Come meet some of Panama’s 
amazing and endangered frogs
at Punta Culebra Nature Center

Education and Outreach

in Classrooms

Galeta transformed into 
teacher-training campus

You are here

General public visits to the Punta Galeta Marine Laboratory and the Bocas del Toro Research Station will resume at a future date. Please continue to check this website for further updates.

We invite you to visit our visitor sites at Barro Colorado Island, Punta Culebra Nature Center, Bocas del Toro Research Station or Galeta Point Marine Laboratory. Discover the amazing plants and animals of the tropical rainforest, and learn about the science behind the scenes that is helping to reveal the many wonders of life in the tropics. 

Education and Outreach Punta Culebra

Punta Culebra Nature Center

Punta Culebra Nature Center, located at the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal, is dedicated to exploration and discovery of the natural world through science. The center, visited by more than 70,000 people every year, offers a mix of marine and amphibian exhibits, walking trails, hands-on science activities and recreational spaces, all in a spectacular setting just minutes away from Panama City. 

BCI Visit Slide 1

Barro Colorado Island

Barro Colorado Island was formed by the creation of Gatun Lake in 1913 during the construction of the Panama Canal. The island is home to one of the oldest tropical research stations in the world, where studies have been carried out for more than 100 years. Every year, about 500 scientists visit this living laboratory to study biology, ecology, evolution and animal behavior. 

Education and Outreach Bocas del Toro

Bocas del Toro research station

Located on Colón Island, Bocas del Toro Research Station provides scientists and students with access to an extraordinary diversity of marine and terrestrial life. The station is nestled among the mangroves near a coastal lagoon. 

Education and Outreach Punta Galeta

Punta Galeta Marine Laboratory

Punta Galeta Marine Laboratory is STRI’s research and outreach center on the Caribbean coast near the port city of Colón. Located within the Galeta Island Protected Landscape, the lab offers access to coral reefs, beaches, mangrove wetlands and tropical forests. 

Educational Resources

The Smithsonian is committed to supporting Panamanian education through online exploration with digital learning tools and in a physical adventure through our educational centers and external educational programs.

The Smithsonian's digital resources are for children and youth ages 7 to 14, educators, and parents. These resources strengthen the interest in learning science by being exposed to content backed by more than 100 years of research in various formats including animated videos, interactive games, among others.

qrioso stri panama


Inspired by the Q?rius space at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington DC, Q?rioso is a science learning laboratory with small exhibits and science tools that aims to inspire curiosity among children and adults.

QBus STRI Panama


The Q?Bus is an interactive learning program that triggers innate curiosity in public school children and youth. The program transports scientific tools, researchers, and collections to remove logistical and economic barriers to scientific knowledge.

QDigital Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute


The Q? Digital is a virtual learning platform that merges content and tools from educational programs such as Q? Rioso and Q? Bus, aimed at bringing an interactive and fun experience for young people through digital activities aimed at children, parents and educators.

Learning Lab STRI Panama

Smithsonian Learning Lab

Educators from all units of the Smithsonian Institution came together to create a variety of online learning resources for teachers, parents, and children.

This activity board presents learning opportunities in English / Spanish with practical and technological tools.

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI)

Fabulous Frogs of Panama

Here you will find several inquiry-based lesson plans about Panamanian amphibians that fit into a standard science curriculum. You can use them as stand-alone activities, or as an introduction to the amphibian exhibits at Punta Culebra Nature Center in Panama City. The exhibits display many frog species native to Panama in replicas of their natural habitat, and feature ongoing research and conservation efforts in Panama. These activities encompass a variety of age and ability levels, and introduce students to key concepts covering natural history, the amphibian life cycle, and conservation. Please check the drop-down menu that says “Education” for a list of these activities.

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI)

Science takes wings

In cooperation with Audubon Arizona and Arizona State University we created a fun bird identification game for learners of all ages.  Learn the songs of 10 common birds found in Panama.  Then head outside to discover how many of the birds you can hear in your own backyard or nearby park or green space. 

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI)

Desert to rainforest

Desert to Rainforest is a middle school learning experience for diverse cultures and habitats in Arizona and Panama. This curriculum was originally created for school groups in Arizona and Panama. It aims to teach middle school children about deserts and tropical rainforests, the unique plant and animal diversity found in each ecosystem, and how organisms have adapted to life in these very distinct environments. Feel free to adapt and use in your own classrooms! 

QDigital Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute


How can I protect myself and others?

An educational tool created by the Smithsonian Science Education Center for educators, parents, and caregivers, powered by questions young people have about COVID-19 and designed to be completed alongside them.

School programs

One of the goals of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute is to inspire curiosity and wonder about the natural world through the lens of science. We offer school groups field trips to our nature center and research stations. Students learn about the wildlife in their own backyard through hands-on educational activities and guided tours. Our activities are designed to complement and reinforce the content students’ are learning in the classroom.

For Educators

The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute offers annual professional development workshops taught by a team of scientists and science educators. The workshops are designed to provide an intensive science rich experience for pre-service and in-service science teachers in Panama. Participating teachers engage in scientific practices that deepen their understanding of evolution, tropical ecology and biodiversity. They also learn practical ways to teach concepts and explore activities suitable for students at a variety of grade levels. 


The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute organizes a variety of educational events and celebrations across Panama each year for families, kids and adults. Whether celebrating National Golden Frog Day, documenting biodiversity in a bioblitz in Bocas Del Toro, or showcasing ocean science throughout Oceans Month, all our events are guaranteed to be fun.

Smithsonian Affiliates

There are over 200 Smithsonian Affiliate organizations in the United States, Puerto Rico, and two in Panama, the Biomuseo and the Panama Interoceanic Canal Museum. Together, they help preserve our heritage, expand knowledge, and inspire learning. 

Carlos De Gracia

Giant Sharks, Tiny Camels at the Biomuseo

The massive earthworks of the recently completed Panama Canal expansion was an unprecedented opportunity to dive into the fossil history of the land bridge between North and South America. From 2007 to 2012, field crews from STRI, the University of Florida and the New Mexico Museum of Natural History collected fossils formed as long as 20 million years ago. The fruits of their labor on display at Panama’s Biomuseo.

Designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry


Designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry, the Biomuseo features eight galleries that reveal the origin of the Panamanian isthmus and its impact on the planet’s biodiversity. Smithsonian research in Panama was integral to the museum’s permanent exhibits.

The Panama Canal Museum chronicles the history of the construction of the Panama Canal

Panama Interoceanic Canal Museum

The Panama Canal Museum chronicles the history of the construction of the Panama Canal from the ill-fated French attempt in the late 1800s to its completion by the United State in 1914 and its transfer to Panama, which culminated in 1999. Housed a former hotel that served as the base of the French canal construction, the museum is located in the city's old quarter — Panama City’s Casco Viejo.

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