The 84th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2015)

Education and outreach components of the Rising Star Expedition and Rising Star Workshop


Department of Anthropology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

March 28, 2015 , Archview Ballroom Add to calendar

Paleoanthropology field projects and laboratory research are engaging to both the public and K-12 audiences. Still, education/outreach directly from field projects has often been seen to impede or distract from research effort. The Rising Star Expedition integrated a massive outreach component from the instigation of field operations, with multiple channels of direct public and K-12 contacts. The later Rising Star Workshop also integrated education/outreach directly in the process, under a somewhat different model of interaction. Here I discuss both quantitative and qualitative measures of outreach effort and impact. From blogs and Twitter to short video lessons and classroom interactions, these components enhanced the research project in several creative ways. These projects may provide a new model of "broader impacts" for paleoanthropology.

Funding for the project was provided by the South African National Research Foundation, the National Geographic Society, the University of the Witwatersrand and the University of Wisconsin-Madison