Sankofa Mobile Museum

<strong>About</strong>

Remember the past, impact the future.

Vision & Origins

In 2019, a few leaders in the Natural and Historic Resources Division created the framework for its Inclusive Interpretation Initiative.

Our vision was simple: Every Prince George’s County resident, but really all people, deserves nothing less than a balanced and comprehensive interpretation about their history – an honest account that includes events and experiences of all people who shaped it. And, equally important, a clear understanding of how the past impacts the present.

We initially focused on our historic sites, especially those former sites of enslavement – five historic plantations located throughout the County. We quickly realized that to be truly inclusive, we needed to consider our accessibility and expand our reach beyond the Department’s historic sites. We needed to travel across the county to ensure that every resident, especially young people, can understand, appreciate, be inspired and see themselves in the events and experiences from the past. We needed to share stories from under-represented and marginalized people from thousands of years ago to today.

Enter Sankofa, a mobile museum. Our vision began by asking, “What would our country look like if everyone, especially students, had the opportunity to learn an unfiltered and undoctored version of history? What if we used our nation’s history and Prince George’s County’s rich heritage to educate communities about our past?”

Over the past four years, we worked with a wide range of partners – from expert advisors and teachers to community members and internal colleagues to exhibit designers and fabricators. Through countless hours, endless re-writes and too many pivots to mention, we created the Sankofa experience, which we hope will impact the lives of hundreds of thousands in Prince George’s County and our region and be replicated by other organizations across the Country.

Through virtual and augmented reality and facilitated discussion, the Sankofa experience connects local stories and individual experiences of resilience, activism, community and courage to national issues and timeless themes of freedom, justice and patriotism.
Visitors engage with a an inclusive, immersive and thought-provoking experience that builds a truer understanding of American history and local heritage – empowering participants to use lessons of the past to impact the future.

This work is more important than ever. There is a real and imminent threat to eliminate countless stories, struggles, and successes of men, women and children from all races, ethnicities, genders, identities and backgrounds who have fought to make the United States and Prince George’s County what is it today.

This is just the beginning and an experience expected to evolve with community engagement. There will be glitches and hiccups along the way but we’re beyond excited to share the Sankofa experience with you!

<strong>The Experience</strong>

Step into Prince George’s County history to experience important–but often overlooked–people and places that shaped our past, inform our present, and impact our future.

Sankofa is an interactive mobile museum that travels to schools across Prince George’s County to expose students to the untold stories of local inhabitants from 10,000 years ago to today – connecting concepts and context to curriculum and critical thinking.

The Sankofa Experience

Bridging the past to the present through three ‘stations,’  this time-traveling trailer provides students immersive and thought-provoking experiences aimed to build knowledge and understanding, inspire curiosity and inquiry, and instill belonging and empathy. 

Station One: Augmented Reality

Inside the museum trailer, augmented reality technology joins forces with more traditional museum materials, including research documents, artifacts, and images.

Interactivity is paramount during this station. Students use iPads to engage with a set of stories about people and places in Prince George’s County. Each story incorporates education standards, such as civics, peoples of the world, geography, economics, and–of course, history. This station includes the skills and processes standard – empowering students to critically evaluate content through their own inquiries and facilitated questions.

Station Two: Virtual Reality

In a more intimate experience, students will use virtual reality technology to ‘meet’ an activist who is highlighted in ‘station one’. They will assess different perspectives, as well as gain an understanding of the shared history connecting us all. These characters include:

  • An elder of the Piscataway Tribe
  • 18th century female entrepreneur
  • 19th century freedom fighters
  • 20th century education pioneers
  • 21st century conservation and community champions

Station Three: Facilitated Discussion

Experienced museum educators facilitate a discussion with students on the content and themes featured in the chosen module. Based on the principles of enduring understanding and critical thinking, Station Three encourages students to share ideas and raise questions about their county’s–and country’s–historical narratives, characters, events, and trends — incorporating the connection between past, present, and future.

Module Content

The content in each module is designed to support specific classroom curriculum, standards, and frameworks, while strengthening students’ ability to think critically and interact positively. Educators will choose from eight modules with themes that range from freedom, justice, and courage to equality, entrepreneurship, and social activism. A typical class is separated into three groups that will rotate through three different stations. 

While content can be adjusted to suit the needs of younger students, this program was developed for students sixth through twelfth grades.  

Below are module descriptions with associated core Prince George’s County Public Schools standards. 

<strong>Book Sankofa</strong>

How to Request a Sankofa Visit

The Sankofa Mobile Museum is currently accepting requests from schools in Prince George’s County for on-site visitsbetween July 2024 and December 2024.

Once you complete the form below, the Sankofa team will review your request and schedule a meeting to plan and confirm a visit.

Please note that submitting the form is NOT a confirmation for a school visit. The Sankofa team will confirm a date during your intake meeting.

Contact sankofa@pgparks.com if you have questions about the booking process.

What happens after I submit my request form?

The Sankofa team will review the request forms in the order that they are received. Please allow up to 1 week for a response. If you do not receive a response within a week, please reach out to sankofa@pgparks.com directly.

Can I request the museum to come my community event?

The Sankofa Mobile Museum is currently offering the experience to schools and organizations in Prince George’s County. In Summer 2024, the Sankofa Mobile Museum will pop up at community events.

The booking request period for Summer 2024 pop-ups is currently open. Please fill out the booking request form on this page and enter in as much information as possible about your event. We look forward to collaborating with you soon!

<strong>Public Pop-Ups</strong>

Upcoming Appearances

The Sankofa Mobile Museum will be at the following locations in the upcoming months! It is FREE to experience the mobile museum.

June 15, 2024| |12 am – 5 pm
Juneteenth 2024
Watkins Regional Park
301 Watkins Park Drive, Upper Marlboro

June 19, 2024 || 10am – 5pm
Juneteenth Freedom Celebration
Anacostia Community Museum
1901 Fort Place SE Washington, DC 20020

June 22, 2024 || 10am – 5pm
The Maryland House and Garden Pilgrimage, Prince George’s County
Columbia Air Center
16091 Croom Airport Rd, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772

July 25, 2024 || 12:30pm – 1:30pm
PGCMLS Social Justice Camp
Bladensburg Branch Library
4820 Annapolis Rd Bladensburg, MD 20710

August 3, 2024 || 2pm – 5pm
Wine & Jazz at Marietta
Marietta House Museum
5626 Bell Station Road Glenn Dale, Maryland 20769

August 8, 2024 || 12:30pm – 1:30pm
PGCMLS Social Justice Camp
Fairmount Heights Branch Library
5904 Kolb St, Fairmount Heights, MD, 20743

<strong>FAQ</strong>

FAQ

What does a Sankofa school visit look like?

During this first launch year of the museum, the Sankofa team will work with educators like YOU to determine how to best present the Sankofa experience to students. We will discuss and confirm an appropriate experience for your school during our initial intake meeting. Please read through The Experience tab for more information

How many students can you accommodate at once?

While we recommend a class of up to 32 students, we can accommodate a maximum of 60 students in one full rotation of the experience.

How many classes can you work with?

To maximize our time at your school, we recommend planning a visit that will accommodate multiple class periods. We will work with you and your principal to determine how many classes we can present the experience to.

How long is the classroom experience?

The class is divided into two to three groups which rotate through each station of the experience. One full rotation takes about 45-50 minutes.

What role do teachers play in the Sankofa visit?

Before: After submitting the request form, teachers will meet with the Sankofa team two times to confirm a visit date and to lead the Sankofa team through a brief site visit.

During: All parts of the experience will be led by Sankofa Mobile Museum educators. Teachers are required to stay with the class during the whole visit.

When can we request a visit from the Sankofa Mobile Museum?

We are currently accepting requests! Click on the tab that says “Book Sankofa” and complete the form there.

We are currently accepting requests! From March 15, 2024 – September15, 2024, we are receiving booking requests for July 2024 – and December 2024.

Do you provide Spanish language accommodations?

Starting spring 2024, we are launching Spanish subtitles for our trailer and virtual reality experiences for students and the public.

Can I request the museum to come my community event?

The Sankofa Mobile Museum is currently offering the experience to schools and organizations in Prince George’s County. In Summer 2024, the Sankofa Mobile Museum will pop up at community events.

The booking request period for Summer 2024 pop-ups is currently open. Please fill out the booking request form under the Book Sankofa tab and enter in as much information as possible about your event. We look forward to collaborating with you soon!