Grandparents University 2013

2013-06-25 15.10.00
Katy gives a walking tour to the particpants

We were excited once again to be a part of Grandparents University at MSU, an opportunity for grandparents and their grandkids to take classes, live on campus, and experience college life for three days. It is a great chance for us to interact with different age groups, and it gives them the chance to learn more about MSU’s history through physical remains of its past. We have participated in the event for a number of years. Some years the participants have been able to wash artifacts like the bricks found at Beal Street, or get to see an actual dig in progress, sometimes they’ve gotten the chance to watch how a full pot becomes broken artifacts, and last year they were able to make their own pottery to take home.

This year we started off day one by doing a class on what archaeology is and what Campus Archaeology does on MSU to protect its historic and prehistoric heritage. We followed this with a tour of North Campus, talking about the historic buildings, burned and raed buildings underneath the ground, and some of the interesting fact we’ve learned from doing archaeology- like that the remains of College Hall were used to build up the riverbanks to prevent flooding!

Participants make their own whiteware patterns and do other activities
Participants make their own whiteware patterns and do other activities

During day two, the participants got the opportunity to interact with real artifacts we’ve found on campus. They played games to match historic artifacts with their modern counterparts, like matching ketchup bottles and hairstyling tools. They also learned about stratigraphy and were able to place artifacts into a mock soil stratigraphy based on what they thought was older. Finally, we had a station where they could examine different artifacts we found on campus and try to identify what types of contexts they came from, like test tubes and compasses from a school room or cups and glasses from a kitchen.

It was a lot of fun getting to engage with this diverse group. We truly enjoy our time spent with the participants of Grandparents University, and hope that they learned something about MSU’s past and archaeology in general. We look forward to next year!

Author: Katy Meyers Emery

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