Every year the ASC gives tours of its facilities and presentations to school groups upon request. It is particularly popular with elementary school groups where presentations may often meet curriculum requirements. If a tour isn’t feasible, in class presentations are also possible.
Summer 2011 Excel Program
The students of the 2011 EXCEL Program, Youth Archaeological Mystery, were again busy this past year excavating a mock indigenous pit house created by instructor and ASC archaeologist Michael Newland. The pit house was built using a mix of modern materials and unprovenienced artifacts from different sites, to create the illusion of a buried feature. The students spent two weeks excavating in shell midden filled with hearth features, artifact concentrations, and a packed earth floor.
The students learned to lay out an excavation grid, draw archaeological features, note and describe stratigraphy, and identify and record a wide range of artifacts. Some of the artifacts were diagnostic and could be identified by rough age; the students made notes on how old different parts of the site were.
On the final day of the class, the parents of the students arrived and attended the last hour, during which the students showed the parents different aspects of the site, and presented their findings using their research and the artifacts they had uncovered.
Some Past Activities & Events
In June 2003, seven students from Michael Newland’s July 2002 Excel class participated in a weekend volunteer excavation at Fort Ross. The students, in addition to their excavation responsibilities, spent the night within the fort, went for hike to a nearby rock shelter site, and participated in a short geomorphology exercise about a buried midden in the nearby cove. The San Francisco Chronicle ran a very complimentary article on the excavation and the Excel Program a few weeks later.
Read the San Francisco Chronicle's article about kids taking part in the Fort Ross excavation here.
Back in 2003, Michael Newland visited the Coyote Valley Elementary School to give a presentation about Sir Francis Drake, which got a big write up in the local newspaper.