Very soon CyArk will be launching the Digital Preservation Project at San Antonio Missions National Historical Park live on our website. Located along the San Antonio River in Texas, the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park encompasses five Spanish Colonial sites: Mission La Purísima Concepción de Acuña, Mission San Francisco de la Espada, Mission San José de Aguayo, Mission San Juan de Capistrano, and the Espada Aqueduct. These outposts were originally built to expand and defend the Spanish-American frontier and spread Christianity to local Native American populations, but also acted as centers of agricultural production, weaving, iron working, and carpentry. Today, the San Antonio Missions represent the largest collection of Spanish Colonial missions in the United States.
The Digital Preservation of the San Antonio Missions is important for the purpose of digitally documenting such valuable sites to serve the ongoing preservation work at the missions, as well as to share the rich history of the missions. Education and sharing has been a very important component of CyArk’s work with the San Antonio Missions.
CyArk recently held a two and a half day workshop in our offices here in Oakland. The objectives for the workshop were to create lesson plans for high school age children and a web-based educational activity for children, all using the content CyArk has created for the Digital Preservation Project at the San Antonio Missions. The educational material created in our workshop was designed to be utilized in local San Antonio high schools and to be available on the home page for the San Antonio Missions on CyArk's website for the benefit of Children all over the world.
Daisy Medina of Highlands High School and Christopher Castillo of NPS traveled out to California from San Antonio to attend our workshop. Both Daisy and Christopher had reviewed CyArk's private website for the San Antonio Missions and came prepared for the workshop with ideas to share. Their enthusiasm and expertise were essential in making the workshop a great success.
Over the two and a half day workshop, Daisy, Christopher, and I had a very productive brainstorming sessions in which we developed educational lesson plans that will be utilized in a variety of high school level subjects. Thanks to the expertise of Mrs. Medina, the lesson plans created comply with the requirements put forth by the Texas public education system, Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). We created two full lesson plan packages and three lesson plan summaries. These materials will be released for use when the San Antonio Missions’ project goes live on CyArk’s website.
We also designed an educational web-based activity for the San Antonio Missions which includes a virtual scavenger hunt at Mission San Jose and puzzles of key architectural elements within the San Antonio Missions.
We accomplished quite a lot in only two and a half days! CyArk's Manager of Software Development, Landon Silla, also participated in the brainstorming sessions of the workshop, and has since developed the web-based activity in-house here at CyArk. We are very excited about this web-based activity, which is already serving as a prototype for web-based activities we are developing for other projects. This activity will also be available within the San Antonio Missions’ project on CyArk’s website for children all over the world to explore.
Stay tuned for more updates on the launch of the San Antonio Missions Digital Preservation Project as well as the development of more fun and interactive educational activities!