Project Archaeology Leadership Academy
Project Archaeology conducted a Leadership Academy (June 21 – 25, 2010) for social studies and science teachers from throughout the western United States to learn about cultural resources on public lands and the importance of protecting these lands for their scientific and heritage values. The Leadership Academy was funded by a grant from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Challenge Cost Share program. The Academy focused on the curriculum Project Archaeology: Investigating Shelter, using the Poplar Forest Slave Cabin Investigation due to its national application. The eighteen participants attending the Academy on the campus of Montana State University learned to use the curriculum and learned about archaeological inquiry.
Participants returned to their home states - twelve states were represented - with the intention of teaching the curriculum to their peers through workshops, online courses, institutes, and job-embedded mentoring. Deborah Stevenson, Curator of Education at Nevada’s State Museum, and Gail Omohundro, both Leadership Academy participants, used Investigating Shelter and the Great Basin Wickiup Investigation for the Fall training of Museum volunteers. The Dirty Shame Rock Shelter, featured in the Great Basin Wickiup Investigation, is an important BLM site in southeastern Oregon.
Other Academy participants are coordinating school district staff development workshops, a middle school after-school program, and a site specific stewardship program. Additionally, four of the participants completed additional online training to become instructors of the online professional development course for teachers, Project Archaeology: Investigating Shelter. The Leadership Academy was designed to establish a national network of master teachers to deliver Project Archaeology materials and professional development materials. Additional benefits of the Leadership Academy to date include revitalized programs in Wyoming and New Mexico, and new Project Archaeology instructors in a dozen Western states. One of the dozen states represented at the Leadership Academy – Idaho – is new to the Project Archaeology list of states with Project Archaeology certified instructors.
The Leadership Academy was rich with discussions, field trips, guest speakers, hands-on activities, and demonstrations. Project Archeology has received FY 2010 funding from the BLM Challenge Cost Share program to conduct the Leadership Academy again next June. If you know of any teachers who may be interested, please contact Kathy Francisco @ firstname.lastname@example.org .