An Archaeology Experience

mobile museum archaeology experience NHM programs

Working as archaeologists, students piece together clues to learn about the Chumash peoples of California.

Students excavate and analyze replica artifacts based on real data from archaeological sites in Santa Barbara, Ventura, and Los Angeles counties to draw conclusions about the daily lives of Chumash ancestors. By interpreting and contextualizing material culture, students learn that the ancestors of Chumash peoples were a complex society thriving in Southern California, a land rich in natural resources.

Mobile Museum: An Archaeology Experience was formerly known as the Earthmobile.

Program Overview

The Mobile Museum: An Archaeology Experience is a two-hour program for students in grades 3, 4, and 5.

The program is facilitated by two Educators who work with students in the Mobile Museum and in a pre-assigned classroom (Museum Lab) .

Students learn about the history and daily life of the ancestors of Chumash people through the science  of archaeology.

Programs scheduled in the Fall semester may also be eligible for a follow-up visit to the Natural History Museum with subsidized bus transportation for participating classes.

If you are already scheduled for the NHM field trip component, you may wish to prepare for your visit by reviewing suggested itineraries or by visiting the museum in advance. Teachers are free with a school ID!

Program Objectives

  • To immerse students in the work of a scientist and apply methods used in scientific inquiry, including observation, data collection and making hypotheses.

  • To assist students in understanding the interrelationships between animals, plants, and humans in the local environment by exploring the natural resources of three regions: the coast, mountains and islands.

  • To deepen understanding of the complex history and culture of Native Peoples in Southern California.

Fieldwork

Mobile Museum, 50 ft. Tractor Trailer

This portion of the program is a simulation of an archaeological field site in the Santa Monica Mountains. Students will take on  the role of archaeologists conducting research to determine why this site is a good place for the ancestors of the Chumash to live. Working as archaeologists, students will make observations, excavate objects, and piece together clues to learn about Chumash Peoples of California.

Museum Laboratory

School-Provided Classroom

This portion of the program is a simulation of research conducted in a Museum Laboratory. Students will take on the role of archaeologists and analyze replica artifacts based on real data from archaeological sites in Santa Barbara, Ventura, and Los Angeles counties to draw conclusions about daily life. By interpreting and contextualizing material culture, students learn that the ancestors of the Chumash were a complex society thriving in Southern California, a land rich in natural resources.

Curricular Materials

Archaeology Experience Supplemental Lessons

Thank you to teachers who contributed lessons including Marisa Andrade, Christina Bludau, Leslie Huey, Juana Medina, Jenifer Roosevelt, and Carol Williard.

Connections to Standards