On February 25, 2009, the Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education (SPICE) conducted an interactive workshop on the SPICE curriculum unit, Along the Silk Road, for 150 New York City middle school teachers at Teachers College, Columbia University. Co-sponsored with the Silk Road Project, the New York City Department of Education, and Teachers College, the workshop was the start of the Silk Road Curriculum and Student Engagement Project, a two-year educational initiative between Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project and the New York City Department of Education.
The workshop featured a lecture on the history of the Silk Road by Stanford University Professor Emeritus Albert Dien. In addition, SPICE curriculum specialists demonstrated a selection of activities—covering geography, language, and music—from Along the Silk Road. Following the workshop, Yo-Yo Ma, Artistic Director and Founder of the Silk Road Project, took the stage, along with storyteller Ben Haggarty and historian Jenny Balfour-Paul, to discuss his ideas for developing an interdisciplinary curriculum on indigo, an important item that was traded along the Silk Road.