Archaeology at Oregon Ridge Nature Center
The Center for Archaeology
Established in 1984 by the Baltimore County Public Schools, Baltimore County, Maryland
The Center for Archaeology is an outdoor educational facility operated for and by the Baltimore County Public Schools in the State of Maryland.
Program Components, Activities and Achievements
The Center for Archaeology is an outdoor education facility created in 1984 to provide an archaeological field experience for students enrolled in a semester-long high school elective course in archaeology. Since its inception, its mission has grown to include a wide variety of archaeological and educational support services for instructional programming; including strategic planning for curriculum development, the production of instructional materials, staff development for archaeology teachers, and site-based and local-school based activities for students and teachers. Included below is a list of the present program components of the Center for Archaeology:
High School Components
- Student excavations on a variety of mid-19th century residential sites
- Student Documentary Research at the Maryland Historical Society and the Baltimore County Historical Society
- Oregon Ridge Iron Works Study Tour (One venue on the tour is the Petter Goff Tenant House Museum which was constructed by students in the Baltimore County Public Schools as a Community Service Project. The museum is appointed with objects reconstructed by archaeology students.)
- Development of the archaeology curriculum and production of instructional support materials for the Grade 12 archaeology program
- Student construction of the Center's new processing lab and storage facility
- Activity: What is the Stuff? Processing Archaeological Remains
- Activity: The Cemetery as a Source of Historical Information
- Activity: Soil Sampling and Analysis
- Activity: Historic Structure Survey
- Activity: Weather Recording
- Activity: The Natural Resources of Oregon Ridge
- Activity: Historic Plant Survey
Elementary Program Components
- Simulated student excavation activities
- Historic Study of the Oregon Ridge Iron Works
- Local School Outreach: Artifact Interpretation Program. This activity serves over 1,000 Grade 3 students in 3 months.
- Using the facilities and personnel of the Baltimore County Public School's Media Center, the Center for Archaeology provides a closed circuit distance learning archaeology program designed to enrich the Grade 3 Archaeology Curriculum. This program is available to the system's 107 elementary schools and allows teachers and students to electronically interact with a staff person from the Center.
- Writing and continual updating of the Grade 3 Social Studies Archaeology Unit.
Additional Programs and Activities
- Gifted and Talented Summer Program: Archaeology and Critical Thinking. This program is formatted for middle school students. The program was recognized in 1992 by the Maryland Council for the Social Studies as Maryland's most outstanding Social Studies curriculum program.
- Historic House Reconstruction. This hands-on program is designed for middle and high school students. It received a Certificate of Excellence from the Maryland State Department of Education.
- Gifted and Talented Summer Program: Dig into History, Archaeology and the Museum. This program is designed for students in Grade 4 and 5. It has received recognition from the National Council for the Social Studies, the Maryland State Department of Education, The Walter's Art Gallery, and the Maryland Council for the Social Studies.
- Archaeology Summer Institute for Teachers. Designed for in-service teachers implementing the Grade 3 Archaeology Curriculum.
- Staff Development Program in Archaeology. Designed to assist high school teachers with the implementation of the high school archaeology course of study
- Recipient of the 1994 National Council for the Social Studies Program of Excellence Award. Only one social studies curriculum program in the United States is recognized yearly for this award.
- Installation of archaeological displays for student and public interpretation and appreciation.
- Engaging the public in site tours, museum interpretations, media presentations, artifact processing, and site activities.