An update on Crow Canyon’s Mobile Learning Lab from Education Manager, Jonas Kurronen
In 2022, with the generous support of donors, the Mobile Learning Lab went from dream to reality — a fourteen-passenger minibus was converted into a lab on wheels. The seats were torn out of the van to make way for cabinets and countertop space. A Starlink internet system was added to provide internet to rural students during visits. We installed lab equipment, such as microscopes, calipers, scales, and tree ring samples. We also created a simulated survey site on a large portable canvas with architectural features. An artist was hired to design a beautiful wrap for the vehicle that advertises Crow Canyon.
The Mobile Learning Lab offers a range of educational modules and curriculum that schools can select from, including simulated survey, atlatl dart throwing, cordage and jewelry making, introduction to lab, remote sensing, artifact identification, dendrochronology, ethics, stratigraphy, as well as Ute, Navajo and Spanish history.
This year in 2023, the Mobile Learning Lab spent time on the road during the fall, traveling to Arizona for the Pecos Conference and then to several schools in New Mexico, including: Native American Community Academy (NACA) in Albuquerque, Albuquerque Public Schools–Indian Education Department, Dixon Elementary School, Santa Fe Indian School, Bernalillo Public Schools, Placitas Elementary School, Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, and Coronado Historic Site.
In October 2023, Crow Canyon educators drove the lab to Bayfield, Colorado to deliver educational programming at Wolverine Academy. Two outdoor lessons (simulated survey and atlatl dart throwing) and a classroom lesson on Ute history were completed with students.
Moving forward, Crow Canyon Pueblo educator, Jon Ghahate (Laguna/Zuni), will be personally reaching out to Indigenous students and educators throughout New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and Utah in an effort to connect with a wide range of schools who otherwise might not have access to Crow Canyon programs.
All in all, the Mobile Learning Lab is road-ready, we’re adding schools to the calendar, and we have big plans to use this wonderful educational tool. We appreciate everyone’s generous support. Stay tuned for good things to come.