Anthropological Studies Center logo

Sonoma State University logo

School Outreach

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.

EXCEL for Youth Archaeology Course 2015

EXCEL is an interactive summer program that offers classes in art, science and technology for young students. Following a three year hiatus, the ASC offered a one-week archaeology course in June 2015 during which 12, 6th to 9th grade students excavated one of SSU’s archaeological demonstration sites.

ASC staff archaeologist Kyle Rabellino taught the intensive, three hour a day course, introducing the students to anthropology, archaeology, local history, mapping, methods, and more. Screening for ArtifactsThe students were given tours of the ASC during their daily breaks from excavation. There they were able to see ASC employees as they worked on processing data from large excavation projects like Central Subway and 399 Fremont. For example, ASC staff member Whitney McClellan spoke about wet-screening, sorting, and analysis of artifacts.

The students’ favorite part of the ASC was the faunal collection and learning about bone morphology from McClellan. The course culminated in an open house period during which the students analyzed the artifacts they had excavated while teaching their parents about archaeology. The course was both fun and educational according to the student evaluations. ASC looks forward to teaching the course again next summer.

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.


clipart Read letters from school children...