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Archaeology Fairs: Measuring Informal Learning

Author(s): Rebekah Schields ; Nichole Tramel ; Erika Malo

Year: 2017

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Summary

Archaeology Fairs are held across the United States in honor of Archaeology month and the International Day of Archaeology. Students and families are exposed to many facets of archaeology, tools of the trade, the difference between archaeology and paleontology, and what to do when they find artifacts. Often this learning takes place in an informal setting, a museum or university campus. So what are students actually learning at these Archaeology Fairs and how can we measure their understanding? Project Archaeology, a national archaeology education program, hosts an annual Junior Archaeology Day at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana. Project Archaeology staff measured student’s understanding of archaeological concepts at the 2015 and 2016 fairs. This paper discusses the results of this research, the difficulties of hosting an archaeology fair in a paleontology museum, best practices for measuring informal learning, and improving fair activities based on research results.


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Archaeology Fairs: Measuring Informal Learning. Rebekah Schields, Nichole Tramel, Erika Malo. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 432089)


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Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17382

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America