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Archaeology Education Coordinator Pilot Project Enters Second Year

Dorothy Schlotthauer Krass

SAA is soliciting proposals for calendar year 1997 as part of a multiyear project to assess the potential activities and costs for a nationwide network of archaeology education coordinators. Two $12,500 grants will be awarded to nonprofit organizations or state agencies to support coordination and development of archaeology education programs and materials at the state level.

This project, developed by SAA's Public Education Committee and made possible by grants from the Bureau of Land Management's Cultural Resources Program, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the National Park Service Archeology and Education Program, is based on the conviction that public education is an important way to increase understanding and appreciation for the past and to engage the public in the preservation of archaeological resources. As described at the 1994 Save the Past for the Future conference, public education includes a broad range of activities and target audiences. The current request for proposals (RFP) focuses on one particular aspect of public education -- archaeology in precollegiate education.

Last year the project awarded a grant to the Friends of the Pennsylvania State Museum and Historical Commission to fund initiatives at the state level during 1996. Funding is supporting the introduction of the Bureau of Land Management's Project Archaeology curriculum into the state's schools by training archaeologists and educators who will, in turn, present workshops for teachers. In addition, educators and technicians are adapting Project Archaeology material for use in the museum's new interactive television network that will enable archaeologists and museum personnel to interact with classrooms in remote sections of the state. Pennsylvania's archaeology education coordinator, Beverly Mitchum Chiarulli, continues to be involved in planning and coordinating the state's Archaeology Week, as well as working with the annual Archaeology Essay Contest committee and overseeing the production of a state-specific handbook for educators.

The grants for 1997 will fund model programs in states in which the archaeological and educational contexts for undertaking education projects are different from one another and from Pennsylvania's. In particular, SAA seeks to fund at least one project in a state with a high proportion of publicly owned lands. Final reports on the activities undertaken and the lessons learned from these three different settings will guide other states working toward more coherent statewide efforts. They will also demonstrate to potential sponsors the effectiveness of pooling resources in support of a coordinator who can reduce redundancy and competition among programs.

For the 1997 pilot project, SAA and its federal partners will fund an individual or agency who will be actively involved in precollegiate archaeology public education in each state. Each grantee will receive funding of $12,500 to cover salary and expenses; the position may be full-time or part-time. Coordinators will work to broaden the reach of successful materials and programs and expand the exchange of information in their states.

The RFP, which was sent to the historic preservation officer in each U.S. state and territory, elaborates on the rationale for the pilot project, defines project goals, provides criteria for selecting grant recipients and evaluating their success, and furnishes the overall project timetable. Because major funding for the pilot project has been provided by U.S. government agencies, participation is limited to the states and territories. The RFP has also been sent to current coordinators of the SAA Public Education Network (see the Education section of SAA's Web page at www.saa.org), which links local and regional educators and archaeologists through state and provincial coordinators.

SAA members interested in archaeology education should take this opportunity to work with their SHPO to produce a proposal. If you are not in a position to use this grant yourself, please encourage the appropriate individuals in your state to develop a response. To encourage statewide partnerships and cooperative efforts, SAA requests that only one proposal be generated from each state or territory.

Proposals are due in the SAA office by November 18, 1996, with notification of grant awards to be made by December 20, 1996. If you would like a copy of the RFP or have any questions about the grant process or the pilot project in general, please contact Dorothy Schlotthauer Krass at the Washington office or via email at public_edu@saa.org.

Dorothy Schlotthauer Krass is the SAA public education manager.


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