by Carson Collier, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) intern in the Virtual Curation Laboratory (VCL)
Summer school is in session! My aunt, Mrs. Jones, a History teacher at James Blair Middle School (MS), was nice enough to let me come into her classroom and talk to her students about virtual archaeology. The core curriculum covered everything from the beginning of Jamestown to WWII; therefore, I had plenty of material to work with from the VCL. Many of the students were unaware of what archaeology actually was and had little to no clue that 3D printing even existed before I came into their classroom. I started my presentation by explaining the concept of 3D printing and showing some YouTube videos about MakerBot software. Once I felt that the students had a grasp on the idea of 3D printing I brought in the archaeology portion.
I showed the students some animations and printed objects that coincided with their studies. Prior to the class I had also created an educational guessing game with some of the printed faunal remains we have in the lab.
I created cards that a replica faunal remain and some clues on one side and the species that the item belonged to on the other side.
I believe that the students of Blair MS really enjoyed learning with the 3D artifacts and faunal remains, considering their amount of enthusiasm at 8 am in summer school. Hopefully this will be one of many more classroom visits for the VCL.