Saturday, 27th of July was a stepping stone for the new YAC (Young Archaeologist Club) branch at Ironbridge, Shropshire. A Young Archaeologists Club Taster Session was organised to celebrate the Festival of British Archaeology and to introduce the new Club to children aged between 8-17.
First of all, do we all know what YAC is? Who is YAC for? What does it represent? Well, just in case allow me to tell you a little bit more…
The Young Archaeologists’ Club is the only UK-wide club for young people up to the age of 17 interested in archaeology. YAC’s vision is for all young people to have opportunities to be inspired and excited by archaeology, and to empower them to help shape its future.
The free YAC taster session was really all about inspiration, excitement, discovery and involvement. The activities were organised and supervised by our YAC team leaders and assistants. This is really a joyful team of professional archaeologists fond of education and involvement and, most importantly, the result of cooperation between museum staff and community archaeology volunteers.
The children were organised in two groups of one hour session. Each group of children, together with their parents was welcomed and offered a quick brief about YAC. Safety first is the motto of the archaeologist. It is very important to work in a safe environment. For this reason children were offered an introduction to the safety gear to use when working on a site, and tools were distributed: spades, buckets, trowels…. Some cool equipment was also available on our simulated dig, such as a total station and some metal detectors (I loved those!).
Once we were all set and ready, we started our dig……oh yes ‘cause we really dug! A trench was set up inside the Engine Shop in Enginuity. Kids aim was to find artefacts, safely dig them out and interpret them. Kids loved it! Not only they unearthed some interesting industrial artefacts but they discovered a lot about the local heritage and the industry that allowed the area to flourish during the industrial revolution. After measurements were taken and a discussion was run about the results of our excavation, kids could develop their abilities in washing, recording, drawing and reconstructing artefacts.
The day went really well. At the end of the session parents had the opportunity to ask further information and fill the form to join our club.
The YAC of Ironbridge will open the doors to its members the last Sunday of Each month, starting from September 2013. Further details will be distributed to subscribers. During the monthly sessions we will aim to work and learn with children about our past and our heritage, through games and activities, visits and practical archaeology.
As one of the team coordinators, I am really excited and enthusiastic about the opportunity to involve young people to what is my long time passion for archaeology, heritage and art. I look forward to working with them to build something new and inspire more people to value our past, to better understand the present. I will see you soon at YAC Ironbridge.
For more information, contact Viviana Culshaw firstname.lastname@example.org