The Archaeology Program partners with community organizations to provide afterschool opportunities for elementary and middle school students. These special programs are designed to create meaningful and memorable educational park experiences for young students.
CDC Fridays (Grades 2-5)
During the school year, the Presidio Archaeology Lab welcomes small groups of students from the Presidio Child Development Center (CDC) to visit the Lab on Friday afternoons to participate in hands-on archaeology activities from our field trips and summer camps. Activities include mapping El Presidio, making adobe bricks, painting majolica patterns, piecing together broken ceramic vessels, and more.
People, Plants, & Pixels (Grades 6-8)
In collaboration with the Presidio Community YMCA’s Outreach Department, the Presidio Archaeology Lab developed this ten-week afterschool program. Students enrolled in the YMCA’s Earth Service Corps at Marina Middle School came to the Presidio to hike the Ecology Trail and investigate the ethnobotanical uses of the native plants still found in the area. Through a series of hands-on skills workshops led by Outside Educators students uncovered the cultural importance of these plants and discovered how Native Californians throughout the Bay Area used them for food, shelter, tools, medicine, and more. As a culminating group project, the students created a Google map guiding future visitors on an ethnobotanical exploration of the Ecology Trail.
Stratigraphy Field School (Grades 4-5)
In the spring and summer, students from the SOAR Program at the Bayview, Buchanan, and Mission YMCA branches visit the Presidio Archaeology Lab to participate in a special program focusing on the archaeological concept of stratigraphy. Students create personal timelines in which they stack four important events in their lives. After reflecting on the importance of sequence in their own personal life stories, students learn about the timeline of events that have shaped the history of the Presidio. Students examine a collection of artifacts from three different eras: Native Californian, Spanish colonial, and American. Then they investigate the layers of history that have been excavated in the Mesa Room’s walls in the Presidio Officers’ Club. The program concludes with an outdoor hike where students uncover the layers of history in the landscape of the Presidio.