SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Rotary Club of Santa Fe and the Santa Fe Children’s Museum worked together to bring Michaelann Parea’s vision to life, after she was killed while participating in a charity bike ride last September. The ‘Van of Enchantment” brings educational opportunities to children.
Hannah Hausman, the Santa Fe Children’s Museum Executive Director, said the goal of the Van of Enchantment is to bring educational STEM projects to children throughout northern New Mexico. “What’s different about this is we have a van now that can take our exhibits and our materials and supplies, even partner supplies out to rural and tribal communities of New Mexico,” said Hausman.
Dick Jones, a member of the Rotary Club of Santa Fe, said him and other volunteers fill boxes with STEM lesson kits that contain simple items, which the kids turn into fun and educational projects. “We get together about once a month and pack up grab and go, which are little experiments in a paper bag that they handout and we package maybe a thousand of those for them,” said Jones.
The van is out and about between 2-3 times a week. All of the kits are made according to where they’ll be visiting. “We also work with the partners so for example if we’re going to a pueblo we try to make sure it’s culturally sensitive we work with the partner in mind to make sure that these kits work for the kids and families,” said Hausman.
Right now, the Van of Enchantment is free but the group is hoping to eventually rent it out for kids birthday parties.