Former FDS1 student brings archaeology outreach program to local school
Third graders at Lucy T. Davis Elementary School had the opportunity to participate in an archaeology outreach program on three area Native Americans tribes. Erika Heimbrook Shofner, one of three co-founders of the South Carolina Archaeology Public Outreach Division, SCAPOD, visited Lucy T. Davis Elementary two days last week to present an archaeology outreach lesson she and her colleagues designed that aligned with the students’ studies.
The third graders have begun studying three S.C. Native American tribes – the Cherokee, Catawba and Yamassee. During her time with each of the six third-grade classes, Erika showed a short power-point presentation on the three tribes and then helped the students build their own waddle and daub indian hut using hot dog baskets, yard straw and clay.
“Erika has come full circle with Florence School District One education,” said Lucy T. Davis Media Specialist Debbie Heimbrook, who happens to be Erika’s mom. Her daughter started as a student at Royall Elementary, then went to Moore Intermediate, following that with acceptance into the International Baccalaureate program at Williams Middle School and graduated in 2003 with an IB diploma from Wilson High School.
Erika earned first a B.A. degree and then an M.A. degree in anthropology with a focus on archaeology and a certificate in museum management from the University of South Carolina where she was a member of Pi Beta Kappa and the Archaeology Society of South Carolina (ASSC). She also participated in South Carolina dig sites at Kolb and Topper, said her mother.
Erika and two of her colleagues, Helena Ferguson and Meg Gaillard, found a need for outreach and public education to connect people today to their past here in South Carolina. To that end, they created SCAPOD in 2010. “The organization provides educational opportunities through school visits, civic speeches, site tours, and museum exhibit designs for the people of South Carolina to understand their relationship to the cultural past of our state,” said Heimbrook.
According to its website, SCAPOD designs and executes classroom programs that align with state standards while giving students an opportunity to participate in hands-on activities. “Erika’s passion for learning and archaeology were encouraged and supported by her teachers in Florence One,” said Heimbrook.
“Now she has seized the opportunity to pass her enthusiasm and expertise along to a new generation of eager learners. This experience might spark in a child to go on to discover their own passion for the past.” Additional Information: more information about SCAPOD can be found at www.scapod.org.