Hello! I hope you all had an enjoyable Christmas break! I thought today I would talk to you a bit about Outreach. It is exactly as it sounds; the department of Ancient History and Archaeology is reaching out to the community. This involves a lot of different things and more information about it can be found here:
But I wanted to talk specifically about the visits to primarily primary but also local secondary schools. I’m a member of the team that participates in these visits and so far I have found it to be a very rewarding experience. Currently it is just archaeology sessions that are run in school for about 1 1/2 to 2 hrs but it is the hope of the department to extent that to teaching in Ancient History as well. This extension to teaching Ancient History is a project I have been working on in a module at uni (see next week’s post!).
It’s very hands on and I admit that the first time I helped out I was very nervous! But I soon got into the swing of things and felt more confident the second time I did it. There are normally 5 stations which the children visit in groups for about 10 minutes. I’ve been in charge of the seeds activity which involves teaching the children how seeds can be useful to an archaeologist and what we can learn from them about the past. Of course too much talk is boring so we quickly try and move onto the fun bit! Which is sieving the seeds (hidden in sand as soil was found to be too messy!;)) onto trays and getting the children to try and identify the seeds they find. We then get them to draw and label the seeds. This is normally quite funny as we put in an orange lentil which they all think is a carrot seed!
These visits are voluntary but as the volunteers are on a rota you only have to help out for about 2 hrs every other week which I feel is well worth my time!
Getting involved in departmental run things gives you more of an insight into your subject and allows you to spread your wings a bit more; to test out what you’re really into. Outreach would certainly help to see if you wanted a career working with children!