Thursday, January 19, 2017

Career Cruising 2017

This past Saturday, Genna, Tommy and I participated in the 2017 WMU MLK Career Cruising event hosted in the student recreation center to represent the anthropology department with Dr. Michelle Machicek and Anna Alioto. Sixth through eighth grade students from local schools were invited by their administrators and WMU to learn about future career options. Around 10 departments hosted 15-minute interactive activities, in areas such as mathematics, speech, language and hearing sciences, physics, and music therapy. It was a significant opportunity to educate young students on subjects they may not know much about and to reinforce the idea that they have endless options when it comes to choosing a future career path.
Anne and Tommy helping students draw conclusions 
This was my second year attending the event and I loved the experience as much as I did the first time. My favorite part about teaching kids about archaeology is the fact that in return I am learning just as much from them that they are from me. We allowed them to touch and look at four different sets of modern broken ceramics and then asked various questions about their designs, functions (before breaking), and about what the family that once owned them might have been like. They were making up stories about why the plate ended up in pieces, and drawing conclusions together while pretending that they had recovered a few of the pieces at an archaeological site. A major component of archaeology is drawing conclusions from little evidence while thinking outside of the box and that is what we were prompting them to do. We received a range on responses from “the cup fell of the table”, “the owners were mad and smashed it”, to even “they must have been at a Greek celebration and smashed the plate, yelling ‘Opa!’”. Children love the idea of limitless possibilities.

Piecing together the puzzles of the past!
The students that attended the event were engaging and shared with us their process of analysis and investigation. Career Cruising is a fantastic way to enrich young minds with knowledge they might not receive on a typical school day. I appreciated the opportunity to work with these young minds and will continue to teach kids whenever I have the opportunity. 
- Anne

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