Shell Bead Experiment

In this program, students will use their previously enhanced science skills to conduct an archaeological experiment. Students will be shown photographs from a real archaeological site featuring an ambiguous artifact, which may be a shell bead. We will create research questions regarding this artifact. Students will use hands-on techniques to test these research questions. Each student will create their own shell beaded necklace to better understand the challenges of this past activity as a way to test their previously created research questions and hypotheses. Students will keep their jewelry once completed.

Pottery

In this program, students will be introduced to pottery made by indigenous cultures around the world. We will discuss how archaeologists use artifacts to tell stories about people in the past. We will focus on how archaeologists record and analyze pottery, with special emphasis on reconstructing broken pottery pieces together. The students will work in teams to put broken ceramic plates back together, similar to an archaeologist in the laboratory. Afterwards, they will learn how indigenous people made pottery by getting to make their own pinch pots to take home.

Creating Inferences

In this program, students will get hands-on experience creating and testing their own inferences. They will first be taught the definitions of observation and inference, and then guided towards creating their own  inferences through verbal stories. Once students have a grasp of creating inferences, they will be challenged to use these skills. Students will be given a number of modern and antique artifacts they are not familiar with and create hypotheses about the possible uses of these tools. This will enhance students’ inference skills, which is vital in studying any of the sciences.

Trash Detectives

In this program, students will work in teams to carry out an investigation just like a real archaeologist. We will begin with a story about Baxter the dog, who created a lot of chaos one day. Each team will be given a trash can with a set of unique items tied to Baxter’s adventures, and will work together to figure out what Baxter did that day. Based on the items and the story, students will interpret what happened that led to all objects being found together in the trash can. We will end this lesson with a discussion on how archaeologists use similar techniques at real archaeological to learn about how people behaved in the past.

Archaeology Maps

In this program, students will be introduced to the engineering aspects of archaeology. Mapping archaeological sites is a crucial component to archaeology, and allows researchers to carefully analyze the placement of all the artifacts and features to better understand the activities and behavior of the previous inhabitants. Students will be given an archaeological map, and as a group guided in discussion about the different site activities that possibly took place based on that map. Then students will be challenged to create their own maps of their desks with similar techniques to engineers. Once complete we will end with a discussion on how site maps help archaeologists document the context and association of artifacts to better understand past human behavior.

Stratigraphy

In this program, students will be taught about one of the techniques archaeologists use to date artifacts, stratigraphy.  The law of stratigraphy determines that artifacts found deeper in the ground are older than those found closer to the surface. Students will be introduced to this important law and taught how archaeologists across the world use it to date important artifacts. They will get to experience this dating technique by creating their own stratigraphy in a bottle. Students will sequentially fill a plastic vial with layers of colored sand and small replica artifacts. Once complete, we will use their completed sand layered bottle to discuss the law of stratigraphy.  Each student will keep their stratigraphy jar as a lesson on the importance of stratigraphy to archaeologists.

Archaeology Dig

In this program, students will be introduced to what an archaeologist actually does, including how to properly record and excavate a site. The students will work in teams to excavate mock archaeological sites in dig bins. They will first devise research questions and hypotheses about their excavation unit, and then get the opportunity to excavate for artifacts in their unit. Once they have excavated their sites, they will analyze the artifacts, and as a team address and answer their original research questions. They will share their findings with the other teams.

Rock Art Experiment

In this program, students will be introduced to rock art symbols, which include painted depictions (pictographs) and engravings (petroglyphs). We will lead a discussion on rock art and how archaeologists believe people made rock art throughout history. After our discussion, students will work in teams to make paint and create their own rock art pictograph to take home.

Cost

Beginning September 2019 our rate will be increasing to $90 per program

$80 per program, plus a $25 travel fee per day

Maximum: 35 students per program