As part of Ball State University and the Department of Anthropology, education forms an important part of the Applied Anthropology Laboratories (AAL) mission—both for students and for the public. Our staff teaches several courses in the department, and develops and presents educational programs for the public and secondary schools throughout the region.
For students, the Applied Anthropology Laboratories provides opportunities for practical application of classroom instruction, as well as many research opportunities for graduate students. Undergraduate and graduate students can benefit from instruction and experience in field survey and excavation, laboratory methods, artifact analysis, and curation, as well as in areas such as budget and grant development and report preparation.
Opportunities are often provided through volunteer positions, internships, and part-time student employment, but graduate students may use the AAL to help develop grant projects and to conduct research in support of their thesis requirements. As interns, part-time employees, or with approved research proposals, students are given instruction in, and access to, laboratory and field technologies including remote sensing, geographic information systems (GIS), petrographic microscopy, and other skills that will enhance their educational opportunities and build their resumes. Former AAL employees work as archaeologists in private archaeology firms and government agencies across the country.
Public education is another important aspect of the AAL mission. Our staff and students develop several public education projects every year. Some examples of past and ongoing projects include excavations with public visitation and participation at nearby Mounds State Park as part of Indiana Archaeology Month, multi-week projects that involve high school students in research into their communities, and educational programs at secondary schools throughout central Indiana. We also provide tours of our laboratory facilities to school groups interested in learning about archaeology and Midwestern prehistory.
We also have a 440 square foot museum that highlights the department’s ethnographic and archaeological collections. The museum is open during normal business hours: Monday through Friday 8:00-5:00 during the academic year and Monday through Friday 7:30-4:00 during the summer months. The museum is normally closed during April for the installation of new exhibits. Admission is free and the museum is open to the public.
If you are interested in learning more about any of our current projects or any other opportunities, contact us.