Best Buy gives $4,000 grant for ArchaeoBus

Submitted by Rita Elliott (ritafelliott@windstream.net)

ArchaeoBus is quickly becoming more than just a pretty face! The last Profile article described the colorful “wrap” that will embellish the exterior of the vehicle and create an exciting traveling billboard for public archaeology outreach. Thanks to Best Buy Children’s Foundation, ArchaeoBus will now be equipped with substantial technology that will expand the potential of its programs to middle school students and their communities. Equipment such as a computer, large screen flat panel HDTV or interactive white board, scanner, digital camera and software will allow interactivity on two levels. On one level, students are presented with new material in PowerPoint presentations, archaeology game shows, quizzes, video clips, photographs, and lab information. They work solo and in groups using this material and information from a series of low-tech activities and interactives. On a second level, students use this new information and regroup for a chance to discover places of value within their community and how they can help save or document them. The students use digital aerial photographs, topographical maps, computerized site forms, and digital photography to record an archaeological site from their community. The site form is then transmitted electronically to the official Georgia Archaeological Site File. Students and teachers are encouraged to extend their ArchaeoBus learning opportunities to activities throughout the year, and are provided with information and resources to do so. The ArchaeoBus project will help children learn traditional subjects (in a unique way) along with higher-level cognitive skills, while empowering them to make a difference in their communities.

We are thrilled that Best Buy Children’s Foundation has recognized that the ArchaeoBus Mobile Archaeology Classroom project aligns with the foundation’s goal to, “provide positive experiences that will help youth excel in school, engage in their communities, and develop leadership skills.” We are especially pleased to begin this phase of what eventually will be a statewide program in the Athens-Clarke County area, where Best Buy Store #511 is located. Natalie Echeverri, Store Manager, was instrumental in working with us to apply for the Local Giving Program grant. We can’t wait to unveil the new bus and begin this educationally stimulating program. Thank you Ms. Echeverri, Mr. Brian Crawford, Product Process Manager, and Best Buy Children’s Foundation!!