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Kids digging the past Allison K. Sampité | Sat, Jun 23 2012 12:00 PM

While school is out for community college students this summer, class is in for local elementary school kids.

College for Kids, a summer program that serves students transitioning into grades five to nine, is in its 38th year on the Southwestern College campus.

This year, two two-week sessions offer students a variety of workshops including visual art, math and magic, crime scene investigation, digital photography and kids culinary with age-appropriate lessons and projects.

The first of two sessions began June 11 and ended June 21.

The college collaborates with six South Bay school districts to get 23 kids in each class.

The idea behind College for Kids is to present stimulating, challenging and enriching experiences for students.

For archaeologist Susan Walter, this is her third time participating in College for Kids.

Walter’s workshop, Dig our past: Archaeology and Egypt, was one of 15 offered. It focuses on the basic principles of archaeology where students are given hands-on projects revolving around the ancient royal Egyptians.

“I think it’s important these kids understand that culture and pasts are important,” Walter said.

On Monday, students started class by filling out “What is it?” papers, where they looked at several artifacts and guessed what they were.

They were also introduced to the skeletal system and worked on crossword puzzle vocabularies.

However, students had the most fun learning about Futhark, the Viking alphabet. The project had them creating mock coffins for traditional Viking burials, hand-making burial goods and, lastly, inserting makeshift bodies.

Typical items found inside Viking burials include silver, Thor’s hammer, a sword, comb, sinew, Christian cross and glass beads.

Timothy Tucker, 10, enjoyed the instruction.

“This class is very interesting because we have a real archaeologist teaching the class and it’s more interactive (than the other classes),” Timothy said.

Natalie Ceballos, 11, said she chose archaeology because it sounded interesting.

“I’ve enjoyed learning about artifacts,” she said. “I think Futhark is very interesting.”

Natalie’s brother Isaiah Ceballos, 9, said he likes the historical aspect of the class.

“It talks about the past and the culture of people before you,” he said.

Editor’s note: Susan Walter is a columnist for The Star-News.

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