Students in Angel Alvarez’s 4th-grade class at Hillcrest Elementary experienced a first-hand, interactive experience with an archaeologist to tie their social studies curriculum to an expert in the field. The class is studying Pre-Colombian and Native American cultures and using the National Geographic Explorer Classroom, engaged in an online session with Dr. Fredrik Hiebert, an Archaeology Fellow at National Geographic who specializes in Ancient Mayan culture. Dr. Heibert has more than 25 years of experience in cultural excavations and is an expert cave diver.

During the online session, Dr. Heibert discussed unearthing Mayan relics from a cave and findings from his research. Students in the class had the opportunity to ask live questions about his experiences. Dr. Heibert also shared advice for students interested in becoming investigators.

“This was a great experience for my students as not only were they able to make connections from what they have been learning in class, but also, they had the opportunity to meet an expert in the field who has inspired them in becoming our future social scientists, archaeologists, or anthropologists,” said Mr. Alvarez.

Image of archaeologist on Zoom projected on screen of class