2006 College Science Education Internship Awardee

Stephanie Olen (Geology)




Professor Don Barber (Bryn Mawr College, Geology Dept.)
Professor Peter Magee (Bryn Mawr College, Archeology Dept.)



Developing and Testing Educational Materials for the
Geoarchaeology Course at Bryn Mawr College

Stephanie Olen

I will be working in association with Professors Don Barber and Peter Magee in developing and testing educational materials for their Geoarchaeology course (ANTH/CNEA/GEOL 270). The learning goals for this course, as laid out in the syllabus, are to understand the processes by which humans interacted with their physical environment; how archaeological sites are formed in the environment; and the methods by which archaeologists and geologists analyze these sites.? My hope for this work is to make these learning goals more accessible and interactive by constructing a series of lab modules, homework exercises and course projects which can be integrated into the current course framework.

I will begin this project by accompanying Professors Barber and Jim Wright (Archaeology dept) during a ten day geoarchaeological field campaign, primarily involving field geophysical surveys. During this time I will gain insight into the range of scientific skills needed to conduct geoarchaeological research. While aiding in the research, I will try to maintain my science-education student?s perspective by discerning which approaches are most important and viable to bring back to the classroom, as well as how these skills can most effectively be taught. Returning to Bryn Mawr, I will work in consultation with Professors Barber and Magee to develop exercises which incorporate both the experience and skills used in the field and the methods and ideas already taught in the course. These modules would be both hands-on (e.g., operating a total station) and quantitative (e.g., analysis of geochemical datasets). Exercises would include small projects or assignments to ensure that the student interacts with the concepts on their own as well as in class and to better tie the exercises into the course framework. While the main focus in developing these modules is method-based, I hope to find other ways to make the coursework more alive and both the reading and lectures more accessible. To help ensure the successs of my project, I intend to use and participate in the various resources and activities surrounding science education at Bryn Mawr this summer (e.g., the MSPGP workshops and other on-campus teaching workshops).


Meeting/Poster Presentation


Geological Society of America Philadelphia Annual Meeting. 22–- 25 October 2006.

Poster Title: Developing Lab Activities to Teach Geophysical and Geocmical Analysis Techniques in an Interdisciplinary Geoarchaeology Course. Olen Stephanie, Barber Don, Magee Peter. October 23, 2006.

Abstract: Olen Stephanie, Barber Don, Magee Peter, 2006. Developing Lab Activities to Teach Geophysical and Geocmical Analysis Techniques in an Interdisciplinary Geoarchaeology Course. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 38, No. 7, p. 284.

Click to read Abstract from GSA.

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