For Immediate Release — Tuesday, July 29, 2008
David Irwin
Media Relations Officer
(585) 245-5516

Students from Rochester City School District Attend Young Scholars Academy at SUNY Geneseo and Find Digging Can Be Fun and Educational

GENESEO, N.Y. – Fictional archaeologist Indiana Jones would have been proud of the 60 Rochester City School District students who participated in the Rochester Young Scholars Academy at SUNY Geneseo July 14-27.  The middle school students made an unexpected discovery of artifacts believed to be between 4,000 and 5,000 years old while digging at a real archaeological site on campus.

 “We thought we would find Native American artifacts on the site but the arrowheads and other items they found clearly predate Native American settlements,” said Kristi Krumrine, who teaches archaeology at SUNY Geneseo and supervised the excavation component of the two-week camp.  “It was very exciting for all of us and the kids did a great job.” 

This is the second year of the camp, which is part of the Xerox Center for Multicultural Teacher Education at SUNY Geneseo.   The camp was funded by Xerox Corp., the Rochester City School District and the college.

“This camp reinforces our effort to support urban education and to interest our education students here at Geneseo in teaching in a multicultural environment,” said Susan Norman, camp director and director of the center.  “The counselors working with the kids during the camp are Geneseo education students and they did a terrific job.”

The theme for this year’s camp was “Discovering the Iroquois in Geneseo.”  In addition to digging for artifacts, the students did indoor lab analysis of their finds and also participated in other activities related to archaeology.  They lived in dormitories on campus during the two-week camp.

“It was very fun,” said Morgan Bell, 12, who attends World of Inquiry School No. 58. “To find something that hadn’t been touched by humans for all those years was amazing and it was great that they trusted us to use chemicals in the lab to work on the artifacts.”

“I enjoyed the lab work the most,” said Chandra Martinez, 13, who attends the Joseph C Wilson Magnet High School Foundation Academy.  “The whole experience gave me a lot to think about.”

The campers learned that real science is involved in uncovering the past but they also learned teamwork, responsibility and time management.

“We're hoping they can take this experience back with them and think about the possibilities of college and a career," said Enrico Johnson, assistant provost at SUNY Geneseo.