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Eldorado High School

2019 Best In Class Winner

Chaco Canyon Project Based Learning
Number of Students Impacted: 250

Eldorado Chaco Canyon Project Based Learning is an extraordinary collaboration that links students with professionals, local businesses and government agencies in order to create real world fieldwork and solutions to actual problems. Students within the project include high school level science classes working on environmental resources, history classes researching the local community, and an Anthropology class and club working on cultural studies. During Fall 2017, the Chaco Canyon Project was selected as an Achieve Award recipient and received $8,615 towards their efforts.  With funding, students successfully created a Student Activity Center featuring a visitor app for Chaco Canyon National Historic Park to help attract teenage visitors to tour the area. Within the app, students created "Go Chaco Go", an interactive scavenger hunt to educate young visitors about the cultures and the environment in which the Ancestral Pueblo people lived when they are exploring the sites at Chaco Canyon.  National Park Service and Chaco Culture National Historical Park collaborated with the project to provide professional training, research, and instruction. Students also received professional training in the use of scientific devices, such as compass and GPS, and computer technology and online programs for GIS and mapping.  Students camped 6 days onsite (3 days in the fall and 3 days in the spring) as part of their fieldwork experience. The Chaco Canyon project has garnered attention nationally and internationally from National Geographic to an international preservation institute.  Students most recently collaborated with Roosevelt Park to create a video for National Geographic. With the video, students hope to have their teacher become a National Geographic Scholar and bring further attention to the project.  By reaching out to other classes, 250 students are impacted through the project.

Eldorado 2With continued funding, students plan to further research on monuments around New Mexico, specifically Chaco Canyon National Monument and spread awareness on lesser-known national parks, such as Canyon de Chelly.  Students will use the technology of photogrammetry, the science of making measurements from photographs, to record both site architecture and to record artifacts in 3D. Best In Class funding will enable students to create a Maker’s Lab that will contain cameras (including a WiFi 3D camera), Cascable WiFi Camera Toolkit software to connect the cameras to tablets and phones in the field, a 3D printer to create copies of artifacts and landscapes, 5TB hard drives to store the massive amounts of pictures and data, GPS Map 66s for collection of exact coordinates in the field, equipment and supplies for stations in the lab and equipment and supplies needed in the field, and a bus to travel to the field.

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