With clear blue skies, comfortable days, cool nights, and high mountain ranges splashed with flickering crimson and gold aspen leaves, Southwest Colorado in the fall is one of America’s great hidden gems. It’s also the perfect time for a school field trip to the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center.
Crow Canyon’s renowned experiential learning programs give students the intellectual tools they need to think critically and explore their world. We offer school programs from March through October. A visit in the fall offers students and educators some unique benefits.
“Schools that visit in the fall have access to a much quieter campus, which means a more relaxed environment and greater access to the resources and amenities that Crow Canyon has to offer,” says Crow Canyon’s Director of Education Sean Gantt, Ph.D. “Also, the weather is great–especially for a dig program at the Haynie site or a guided tour through Mesa Verde.”
Crow Canyon’s one-day field trips and overnight programs for school groups are designed for students in grades 4 through 12. Our curriculum is based on the belief that everyone’s history matters. Program modules vary depending on grade level, program length, and group size, but core activities teach students about archaeology, ancestral Pueblo history, the scientific process, and the complex interactions between people and their environments.
In our flagship five-day field archaeology program, middle and high school students first learn the basics of Pueblo history and the science of archaeology. Then they help contribute to Crow Canyon's ongoing research by working with our professional archaeologists, analyzing ancient artifacts in the laboratory, and excavating at the Haynie site, a significant ancestral Pueblo village located just northeast of Cortez.
"This is what it's all about for me," says Crow Canyon Field Archaeologist Steve Copeland. "Teaching kids about the past in a way that makes it real and exciting for them is one of the highlights of my job. Having these school kids out here, not just finding artifacts but gaining an understanding of what those artifacts might mean and how they relate to the greater story of this site and the people who lived here—I love it!"
A trip to Crow Canyon in the fall also offers students and educators a unique opportunity that can go well beyond archaeology.
“A visit to Crow Canyon in the fall, early in the school year, can be a great bonding experience for students and teachers,” says Gantt. “This experience is something the group can then refer back to and build on for the rest of the school year.”
“Plus, you really can’t beat the weather,” adds Gantt.
For more information on Crow Canyon’s school programs click here, or call (800) 422-8975, ext. 455.