[Photo: Wolfgang Hasselmann / Unsplash]

Geography Club at Branigan Cultural Center

Join the Branigan Cultural Center every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and take a mental road trip to explore culturally-significant and historical sites within the Land of Enchantment! Each month, the Center focus on one location of historic and cultural significance in New Mexico, discussing the people, landscape and environment of the area.

For the month of March, learn about the enchanting Aztec Ruins. Located approximately 400 miles north of Las Cruces in Aztec, NM, you’ll find Aztec Ruins National Monument. The Monument preserves the Ancestral Puebloan great house that was once the center of a large regional community. With over 900 years of history and 400 rooms, the Aztec Ruins places you in a time period during history we can only read about. Join us as we learn the Ruins’ history and significance, and conclude with a craft for families of all ages.

Admission is free to the Branigan Cultural Center, located at 501 North Main St. The museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For addition information, call 575-541-2154.

“Saturday Family Science: Making Trackways” at the Museum of Nature & Science

The Museum of Nature & Science presents “Saturday Family Science: Making Trackways,” Saturday, March 2, 2019, at 11:30 a.m. The program is free and open to the public.

Your footprints tell a lot more about you than you may think! Scientists can estimate how tall you are, how much you weigh, and how soft the ground you’re standing on is just from your footprints. Walk, run, or jump your way onto the charts and see how these comparisons help scientists learn about ancient animals.

“Saturday Family Science” is offered monthly, encouraging families to work as a team, problem solve, and experiment through participating in a wide range of STEM activities led by museum staff and volunteers.

The Museum of Nature & Science is located at 411 N. Main St. and is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For additional information, visit the website or call 575-522-3120.

Scientist Saturday Mornings at the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Park

Do you want to get better acquainted with the Chihuahuan Desert? The Asombro Institute for Science Education will be posting a Scientist On-Duty at the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Park, 56501 N. Jornada Rd., on the first Saturday of each month. The next Scientist Saturday Morning is coming up on March 2. You are invited to explore and learn at the Nature Park. An Asombro Institute Scientist will be on duty from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. to answer questions and help orient visitors to the property.

There will be free refreshments while supplies last and souvenirs available for purchase. Scavenger hunts and trail guides will be available to help you explore the park. There will be prizes will be for completed scavenger hunts. The Asombro Scientist will bring along the Institute’s natural history collections to help visitors learn about the fascinating plants and animals of our region by examining skulls, pelts and plant samples.

The Chihuahuan Desert Nature Park encompasses 935 acres of pristine desert just outside of Las Cruces. The site features diverse native plants, wildlife viewing opportunities, and breathtaking views of the Organ and San Andres Mountains. Visitors can explore the park on the paved Desert Experience Mini Trail, or on the unpaved 1.2-mile Desert Discovery Trail.

The park is free to enter and open to the public year-round from Tuesday through Sunday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. There are restroom facilities and drinking water available near the parking area on Scientist Saturdays. To get to the Nature Park from I-25 in Las Cruces, head east on Highway 70. Take the Mesa Grande Road exit (at Oñate High School).  Make a U-turn under the highway to head west and stay in the right lane. Turn right (north) on Jornada Road. Follow Jornada Road for 6.4 miles and turn left at the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Park sign. Follow the entrance road to the parking area and trailhead.

The Chihuahuan Desert Nature Park is operated by the Asombro Institute for Science Education. The Asombro Institute provides hands-on science education programs for more than 13,000 students throughout southern New Mexico and west Texas each year. Anyone interested in learning more about the Asombro Institute for Science Education, membership, and volunteer opportunities may call the Institute office at 575-524-3334 or visit the organization’s website.

— Damien Willis, LCPS Director of Communications, 575-527-5811, dwillis@lcps.net