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Public Education Committee -- Update

Teresa L. Hoffman

At the recent SAA Annual Meeting in Chicago, approximately 45 members of the PEC met and established plans for the upcoming year. The following is a synopsis of the highlights, and the major activities the PEC and its multiple subcommittees are pursuing.

Network Coordinators Updated -- Each state is represented by an individual who serves as the primary contact on public archaeology. These "network coordinators" act as liaisons to those who sponsor events or activities for the public. This year we plan to reinvigorate the network to increase and enhance our contacts with the public. To contact your state coordinator, log onto the Roster of the Network of State and Provincial Archaeology Education Coordinators on the SAA Web page.

Archaeology Week/Month Poster Contest -- Each year at the SAA Annual Meeting the PEC conducts a contest for the many statewide Archaeology Week/Month posters. More than 40 states now participate in some form of Archaeology Week celebration and 30 posters were exhibited at the Chicago meeting. At the Philadelphia SAA Annual Meeting, the PEC will sponsor a workshop or roundtable to share ideas about the different activities that take place and ways to improve these popular events.

Native American Workshops -- The Native American Education subcommittee conducts annual workshops to provide Native American educators with materials and strategies for developing curricula using the scientific concepts and findings of archaeology. The success of these efforts was recognized at theSAA Annual Business Meeting, when subcommittee chair Jon Czaplicki was presented with a Presidential Recognition Award. The next workshop (Teaching with Archaeology: New Perspectives on Science and Culture) is scheduled for July 12­17, 1999, at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas. The subcommittee is expanding upon its successes by developing a newsletter for past workshop participants.

Publications Planned for the Fall -- The Archaeology and Public Education Newsletter is being redesigned and the PEC hopes to have the first issue on SAAweb by the fall. The newsletter will no longer be produced in paper format. The PEC also is working on a new archaeology series that will be targeted to precollegiate teachers. The first issue of this theme-oriented monograph, which will include lesson plans, is scheduled to be published this fall.

Record Crowd Attends Public Session -- More than 200 people attended the PEC-sponsored public session held at the Field Museum of Natural History. Archaeologists Hawk Tolson, Mark Mehrer, and popular author Clive Cussler, entranced the crowd with stories of archaeology, mystery, adventure, and discovery.

Archaeology as a Career -- The committee is developing a career brochure for the Society. To share information or your thoughts on this undertaking, contact PEC chair Shereen Lerner (email lerner@mc.maricopa.edu). ·

Teresa Hoffman, associate editor for the Public Education Committee column, is with Archaeological Consulting Services in Tempe, Arizona.

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