Dakota Duran and Lucario Chavez show off their tin smithing work. Courtesy photo
A few experts in local culture and history paid a visit to Los Alamos Middle School (LAMS) in February.
Students in the Night Hawk school team received a presentation from Jorge Maldonado and Joanie Budzileni of Bandelier National Monument on the history of the national monument and the importance of preservation. Additionally, San Ildefonso Pueblo Gov. James Mountain shared the pueblo’s history and artifacts while LAMS teacher Laura Parkison educated students about the history of the early Spanish tradition of tinwork in New Mexico, allowing students to design their own creations.
“The Night Hawk team teachers greatly appreciated presenters taking time from their busy schedules to share their culture and traditions with our seventh grade students,” Teacher Eleanor James-Springfield said. “Their generosity, talent, and passion were evident throughout the morning while teaching students.”
“(The students) had opportunities to engage in conversation with the leaders to better understand the beauty in our state’s diversity and learn the importance of preservation,” James-Springfield said.
The day included a luncheon presentation for guest presenters, 16 student ambassadors, teachers and administrators.
“I learned that teaching others is a very important skill in cultures,” student Ogden Berry said, “(and) to preserve it and keep it going.”
The classrooms also will take the activity into students’ homes as they begin to look into their own family cultures and traditions.