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October 12, 1993 - Image 7

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-10-12

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, October 12, 1993 - 7
Kelsey Museum provides traveling artifacts M

By MEGAN SCHIMPF
FOR THE DAILY
Eureka! The University's Kelsey
Museum of Archeology will have a
new traveling educational kit made
possible by a $4,000 grant from
Detroit Edison.
The kit, to be called "Eureka!
Inventions Old and New," will fea-
0ture ancient inventions, including
safety pins and automatic door open-
ers. It will circulate to area schools.
"We want to alert kids to the fact
§that people have been inventing for
years," said Lauren Talalay, curator
of education at Kelsey. "The safety
pin is 4,000 years old and the An-
cient Greeks had automatic door
openers."
The kit will include books, slide
shows, videos, computer games,
board games, replicas, and other
educational activities. It will also
come with a teacher's manual on
how to use the kit.
Kelsey is looking to interest stu-
dents who are not usually excited by
science. "We're hoping there are
enough hands-on activities that
people who are normally turned off
by science will go through another
gateway," Talalay said. "We're hop-
ing there are enough hooks."
The kits, however, are aimed at
,all kids. Talalay said the purpose of
the program is "to instill creativity
in children, inspire them to think
more scientifically and mathemati-
cally, and for fun, because ancient
inventions are neat."
Talalay said she wants children
to advance their thinking, but also
learn about the past.
"We're hoping that because in-
ventions are tied to logical prob-
lem-solving that we'll stimulate that
%process and way of thinking. We'd
like to help them think critically and
help them feel connected to the
',past," she said.
Detroit Edison, a public utility
company, has a contribution budget
made up of funds that would other-
wise be given to stockholders in the
form of dividends. The company
transfers the funds to The Detroit
Edison Foundation, a division
headed by a separate board of direc-
tors; to distribute.
The Foundation receives about
1,500 applications a year and then
gives out $4 million in grants to
selected groups.
"It's a function of a company to
be responsive to the community.
It's a way to give back to the com-
munity," said Kay Hunt, secretary
of the foundation and administrator
of corporate contributions.
Hunt said Kelsey was chosen for
the grant because of the emphasis
on education in its program.
"This was a program that ben-
efits both the University and the
local school district. A lot of stu-
dents will benefit from this grant,"
said Hunt. "We wanted to increase
what we're doing in education and
shift the focus to younger kids."
The invention kit will be avail-
able by next September and will be
!the 12th kit in the Kelsey program.
The themes of the kits range from
Ancient Egyptians to Greek My-
thology to Ancient Romans, and are
rented out for 10-day periods at a
cost of $20, used to maintain the
kits.

Talalay said the kits have been
successful in Michigan and have
been featured in Archaeology Maga-
zine. She estimated that about 6-
,7,000 kids used the kits last year,
but said that the actual figure might
be as high as 10,000.
The kits will primarily be used
by local schools, but are available
for rent to anyone. They are de-
signed for grades K-12, but are usu-
ally used by grades 4-9, Talalay
said.
One University class, Classical
Archeology 221, Introduction to
Greek Archaeology, will be using
the kits in the future. Prof. John
Pedley, who teaches the class, said
he will use the kits to introduce his
:lasses to the materials since the
Kelsey Museum itself is not avail-
able due to renovations.
R e a .........................................
ores o'lb
X.sin ou:::

"I want students to have access
to the materials," said Pedley. "I
think the suitcases are an excellent
way to get objects out of the mu-
seum and making them accessible
to the general public."
Pedley said he hopes the stu-
dents, mainly first-year students and
sophomores, will gain a deeper un-
derstanding of the material they are
learning by seeing the replicas.
"They will have a direct contact
with the world of antiquity. Other-
wise, all they do is see them on
slides, which are two-dimensional."
Last year, 12 University under-
graduates participated in an experi-
mental program that brought the kits
to pediatric wards atUniversity Hos-
pitals. The students helped children
who were in the hospital briefly for
surgery to spell their names in hi-
eroglyphics using stamps from the
Ancient Egyptian kit. Talalay said
she would like to continue to ex-
pand the program in the future.
The new kit will not contain ac-
tual artifacts because of insurance
and ethical reasons. Most of the
present kits also contain only repli-
cas, but the Ancient Roman kit does
have an authentic spoon and piece
of tile.
"We can't take anything out of

the museum," Talalay said. "I would
love to have real artifacts, but we
can't for insurance reasons."
The new inventions kit will range
from writing to the Roman era,
which Talalay estimates to be from
3000 B.C. to 300 A.D. It will in-
clude Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and
Near Eastern inventions, and will
be almost uniformly Mediterranean
in content.
"The nature of Kelsey is that
we're a collection of Mediterranean
works. We had to draw the line
somewhere, so we stuck with what
we had in the museum," Talalay
said.
She said if another invention
from beyond the Mediterranean at-
tracts their attention, kit creators
will also include it.
Using the present kits, students
can design and build a Roman arch,
write their names using hieroglyph-
ics stamps, read and write using
pictorial writing, do puzzles using
Ancient Summarian math, or de-
sign their own Egyptian good luck
charm or Greek vase.
While the new kit is still being
planned, Talalay said being able to
make an ancient safety pin and de-
signing a Roman voting machine
using black and white marbles are

possibilities.
Kelsey has also recently received
a grant from the Ann Arbor Area
Community Organization for a kit
to be called Ancient Problems in the
Modern World. It will deal with
issues people have to address today,
such as homelessness, diversity and
disease.
"These are not contemporary
phenomena," Talalay said. "They
were just as pressing for the ancient
people. We can learn from their fail-
ures and their successes."
Talalay estimated that the kits
will last for 10-20 years, as long as
there is someone at Kelsey to main-
tain and update them.
The kits are also referred to as
"Ancient Civilizations in a Crate"
or "Traveling Suitcases."
Detroit Edison grants are tax-
deductible for the company once
the money has been transferred to
the foundation.
,WellComeStudents:
"T your hair isn't becoming to you,
you should be coming to us."
*Liberyoff State 668WA9T2G

DANIEL KRAUSSID.Jy
Kelsey Museum cumtor Lauren Talalay displays ancient inventions from the kit;
ST. MARY'S STUDENT PARISH
announces a
Lecture
Catholic and AcademiC
A Contradiction in Terms?
by Professor James Turner
History Department, University of Michigan
Wednesday, October 13,7:00 p.m.
at the Newman Center
331 Thompson Street
The first in a series of presentations on faith and thought and the
interplay between a Catholic religious commitment and the profession
of teacher and intellectual.
Open to allnterested students, faculty and others.

-

dJ 4
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October 13 East Room 6-10 pm
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