We feel that public education in Arizona is at a critical juncture, and that, as AIA officers, we cannot simply stand by and watch. Thus, in August 2009 we created Apples + Archaeology as an outreach program for K-12 education in the metropolitan Phoenix area. This is a volunteer lecture program in which creative Arizona State University professors who teach archaeology and its related disciplines take the EXCITEMENT of archaeology into primary and secondary school classrooms. The goals are simple: to AMAZE, INSPIRE, and INVIGORATE.
How does the program work?
1. Professors contact our community liaison and list: the topics they are willing to speak about, how often they have time to speak, what times and days they might be available, what grade level(s) they wish to visit, what is an acceptable class size, and general locations within the Valley where they would be willing to travel and speak.
2. Schoolteachers also contact our community liaison and request speakers based on topic, class size, proposed visit date, etc.
3. The community liaison informs the professor of the teacher’s request. If it can be fulfilled, the teacher and the professor can then communicate directly to finalize the details of the visit.
Eileen Wickard, who teaches at Palisades Middle School (PA), wrote about the Apples + Archaeology visit to her classroom:
“On the day before winter vacation, you would think middle school students would be difficult to engage. Not so when Dr. Tom Morton came to meet with our students this past December. Students quickly jumped into the paper-building building competition, asking questions, trying and laughing and trying again to meet the requirements while being encouraged to think creatively and critically by Tom…and by their innate sense of curiosity. Thank you, Tom, for using your vacation time to challenge students to think and to encourage them to make connections beyond the typical classroom/textbook lesson!”
*DONATIONS* to Apples + Archaeology are welcome. If you are interested in supporting this innovative and beneficial program, please contact one of the Central AZ Society AIA officers.
If you are a professor interested in volunteering your time or you wish to inquire about lecturer availability, please contact Almira Poudrier (firstname.lastname@example.org).