Saturday, July 2, 2016

Next Stop....Niles!

Good morning all you FSJ enthusiasts! It’s been a long summer and we’ve been busy people working on many projects in order to prepare for this year’s field season. One of the first things we did this summer was attending the Mini Maker Fair in St. Joseph. Genna represented us and had a booth set up for us. It was a beautiful day for some archaeology! At the fair, there were inventors and kid’s crafts galore. Genna enjoyed showing kids how to use the shaker screens to search for artifacts and teaching them a little about stratigraphy. Our panels drew people in with more questions about Fort St. Joseph. Although we may have been a booth geared more towards adults, we still got plenty of attention from kids!
Genna's booth at the Mini Maker Fair

One ongoing and very exciting project is one that I took on with Austin. He and I are in the process of redesigning a new website for the project! I never envisioned myself being able to do something like this, but it’s been really interesting. In order to accomplish this project, Austin and I had to participate in a series of online training sessions through Western Michigan. Once completed, we were ready to take on the challenge! I’m excited to share with you all that our new website is in the process of being approved by the University and will be live very shortly. Stay tuned for updates and the big reveal!
This past Monday, Anne and I were at the Air Zoo in Portage teaching kids about archaeology. We did an activity with about 15 elementary school children enrolled in the Air Zoo’s summer camp program. Anne and I taught the kids about the Law of Stratigraphy. This law says that the older the materials are, the deeper in the soil layers (called stratigraphy) they can be found. I created a poster board with different layers of soil and the kids had to color a picture of an artifact of their choice. Once colored, they had to guess what layer their artifact could be found in. I love teaching kids about archaeology with hands on activities like this one because it’s so much fun to watch them get excited about archaeology.
Perhaps the most exciting thing that we’ve done so far was just wrapping up our orientation with our new students! This year we have eight very eager and bright students in field school. Yesterday was probably my favorite day of orientation because they get to learn a little bit more about field techniques. They learn how to use the Total Station theodolite, how to set up a unit, and even practice their right angle mapping skills. As a student last year, it’s a little crazy to think that my field school was already over by this point in the summer and these new students have barely yet to begin. I can’t wait to see what this season brings for them, the project, and the community! I hope you all have a happy and safe holiday weekend and we’ll see you Tuesday!

Austin teaching students Paul, Anne, and Drew how to set up a 1x1 meter unit

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