A programme of Key Stage 2 workshops exploring genomics and archaeology were attended by 500 pupils in 2017.
OA has been involved in archaeological investigations at Hinxton Hall Park and the Genome Campus Extension in south Cambridgeshire for over 20 years. The work has been carried out by Oxford Archaeology East on behalf of the Wellcome Trust, who are also funding two monograph publications that will detail the full results of the excavations.
The aim of the schools’ project, called ‘Strands of Time’, has been to demonstrate how the pioneering work of genomic scientists in the recovery of aDNA has transformed archaeologists’ study of people in the past in recent decades. OA East and The Little Story Telling Company teamed up to develop and deliver 16 workshops to Year 4, 5 and 6 pupils at eight schools in Cambridgeshire and Suffolk this half term. The workshops blend together elements of Key Stage 2 history and curriculum in a series of hands-on and discursive activities to analyse the archaeological discoveries made at the Genome Campus and link these to the DNA sequencing technologies in current use by the Wellcome Trust’s researchers.
Following the school-based activity workshops, the primary schools worked on classroom projecst inspired by the archaeological and scientific content using resources to support their own research. These were presented in a mini schools’ conference held at the Wellcome Genome Campus’ conference centre in July 2017.
Coinciding with the schools’ conference, there was a temporary exhibition in the Wellcome Genome Campus Cultural Zone. This showcased some of OA’s archaeological finds from Hinxton, including human skeletal remains, to show how combined genomic and archaeological research can reveal both individual stories from the past and shed light on our shared history.