In an effort to reach out to local high schools, CSU Department of Anthropology facilitated an Anthropology Day for Fossil Ridge High School students. Mr. Tom Kisla, M.Ed. is a Fossil Ridge Social Studies Instructor who teaches an elective anthropology course at the local high school and initiated the idea of bringing his students to campus in celebration of International Archaeology Day.
Several anthropology students interested in public outreach as well as education decided to expand the day to encompass the three sub-disciplines – archaeology, biological anthropology, and cultural anthropology – taught in the CSU Department of Anthropology. Student volunteers – Kelli Wick, Amanda Grassello, Emily Bernier, Emma Hatcher, Lindsay Johnson, Ben Rodwell, Matt Muttart, Julia Kenyon, Kaitlyn Simcox, Kaia Renouf, Zulecia Medina, Lindsey Jessen, as well as alumna Michelle Dinkel and instructor Kim Nichols – organized, designed and implemented each activity for the campus visit of the students in Fossil Ridge’s anthropology course. The volunteers were able to exercise their current knowledge of anthropology and education in order to implement diverse anthropological activities that were engaging and intellectually challenging.
To say thank you after the event, Mr. Kisla wrote in a kind letter to the department, “The kids loved it [Anthropology Day] and were very thankful and grateful for the experiences. We had parent-teacher conferences last night and many of the parents said their kids came home talking about how cool it was.”
The Department of Anthropology will be hosting another Anthropology Day next year with the hope that Fossil Ridge High School and Mr. Kisla will return with more students who are interested in anthropology. The event highlights the importance of furthering our university’s collaboration with local K-12 students as well as public education on what impact anthropologists can have in the world.