Educational Programs

The Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is not only one of nation's finest museums but its education department is of one of the best and most creative. Its variety of outreach programs are a model for the rest of the world.

Tlingit Cedar House
My "What's in a House?" program which the Carnegie uses is a children's program designed to illustrate the wide variety of architectural styles and skills which existed among the Native American peoples. It is offered both at the museum itself and is available as a program which comes to the schools. The Carnegie commissioned me to make highly detailed, highly authentic models of various North American housing styles. The model of a Tlingit two-beamed cedar house to the left was commissioned as part of that program.

An Iroquois Longhouse diorama under construction, also used for the "What's in a House?" program, is shown on the "displays, models, and dioramas" page at this web site.

Another popular program at the Carnegie is the "What if I were an Archaeologist?" course. It isn't feasible to bring a classroom of elementary or junior high school children to a field archaeological site to become acquainted with excavation and site mapping / recording techniques. Therefore the Carnegie commissioned several sets of "dig boxes" where a simulated field site, complete with features and artifacts, can be brought to the classroom.

Ohio Academic Standards in Social Studies and History now require study of Ohio's prehistoric peoples, plus appreciation of other cultures. The links to free, downloadable teachers resources and projects and to a Short survey of Ohio prehistory at the bottom of this page may be of value to elementary level classroom teachers.

Susan K. Nelson has a Master of Arts in Archaeology Education from the McGregor School at Antioch University.

Return to my home page. | Go to Teacher's Resources and Projects Page. | Go to a Short Survey of Ohio prehistory.