Students learn about ruins

Archaeologists give Lowry field trips to local schoolchildren

Crow Canyon educators Molly Harpel, Kathy Stemmler and Rebecca Hammond pose in front of student artwork on Lowry Pueblo at the Anasazi Heritage Center. Enlargephoto

Jim Mimiaga/Cortez Journal

Crow Canyon educators Molly Harpel, Kathy Stemmler and Rebecca Hammond pose in front of student artwork on Lowry Pueblo at the Anasazi Heritage Center.

Crow Canyon Archaeological Center has partnered with the Anasazi Heritage Center to get local school children interested in learning about ancient cultures and preserving ruins.

The “Museum on the Ground” field trips funded in part by Crow Canyon, allowed fourth-grade students from area schools to tour Lowry Pueblo with professional archaeologists.

Some 220 students participated in the program last September. They created artwork of their experience that is currently on display at the Anasazi Heritage Center.

During the tours students learned about Lowry Pueblo, were given instruction on how to throw an Atlatl, learned about Ute culture, and identified local plants and animals.

“The poster artwork is in their words, it is really fun to see the enthusiasm of the students,” said Marietta Eaton, manager of Canyons of the Ancients. “It is the only field trip for some of these kids.”

Student Joshua Baker was at the art opening with his parents on Saturday. He recited what he knew about Lowry Pueblo.

“It is 800 years old and has problems with erosion,” Baker said. “It is fun to look at the geography and you are not supposed to sit on the walls.”

Molly Harpel, a Crow Canyon Educator, explained the purpose was to reach out to local students and give them an opportunity to explore their own backyard.

“The students are superstars! They are very receptive to archaeology and are proud of this area’s unique history,” she said. “We look forward to doing this again next year.”

Cheryl Lancaster, a fourth-grade teacher at Mesa Elementary, said the hands-on experience was a valuable lesson.

“Our Native American kids really appreciate the focus on native cultures and historic sites we have here,” she said. “It works well with the curriculum requirements for Colorado history and our pre-history.”

AHC is on an outreach mission to increase community involvement, Eaton said.

“We are always looking for more opportunity to provide education. We’re broadening our topics to include subjects that are not just archaeology. Right now we have a great mountain lion exhibit.”