You’ll dig it: Discover artifacts and garbology at E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center


The E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center is considered an extension of the classroom, hosting more than 140 students every school day on average. Here, Lauren Bray, discusses the area's natural environment with fourth-grade students from Destin Elementary.

Jennie McKeon | The Sun
Published: Thursday, January 23, 2014 at 05:02 PM.

In an effort to integrate archaeology into kids’ curriculum, the E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center and Florida Public Archaeology Network (FPAN) have put together a day of exploration and excavation for kids of all ages set for Feb. 1.

Educating kids about the study of archaeology perfectly fits with Biophilia's mission of promoting STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects.

"The Biophilia Center is dedicated to studying nature," explained Lauren Bray, environmental educator and volunteer coordinator. "Studying the history of the land and how it was used in the past is the perfect fit."

Archaeology is an inherently multi-disciplinary subject, said Nicole Bucchino, Northeast region outreach coordinator for FPAN. It's also a very hands-on subject that allows for effortless learning.

"Children can hone geometry skills through mapping excavations, discover chemistry with artifact conservation practices, utilize inference and induction skills during artifact analysis and interpretation and exercise reading muscles while learning about the past," she said.

Organizing the event, Bray made sure to include activities that are engaging. Some planned activities include sorting artifacts from actual excavations in downtown Pensacola conducted by University of West Florida, drawing artifacts underwater, learning to use ancient technologies and discovering the future of archaeology through the study of modern garbage — cleverly titled garbology. Perhaps the most popular activity will be getting the chance to throw an atlatl, which is an ancient spear.

An archaeologist from FPAN will also be at the event presenting two lectures at 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

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