Story by Lt. Cmdr. Jennifer Cragg, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command Public Affairs
Seabees from CBMU 202 and UCT 1 participate in an archeological dig with students from Shelton Park Elementary School, Nov. 16-18 as part of the school’s ongoing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) outreach. (Photo courtesy of Navy Expeditionary Combat Command)
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) — Seabees assigned to Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit (CBMU) 202 and Underwater Construction Team (UCT) 1 participated in an archeological dig at Shelton Park Elementary School, Nov. 16-18 as part of the school’s ongoing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) outreach.
Shelton Park Elementary School requested volunteers to help out with their annual fifth grade archeological dig and the Seabees assigned to UCT 1 and CBMU 202 answered the call. The Sailors assisted with monitoring students’ progress throughout the dig, helping weigh and measure artifacts, as well as complete charts.
Karen Just, school liaison officer assigned to Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story coordinated the community relations event at Shelton Park Elementary School and appreciated the variety of volunteers who rendered their military skillsets in the classroom.
“The importance of having the service members volunteer allows the fifth graders to actually participate in the hands-on learning experience,” said Just. “The interaction between the service members and students is rewarding as the students are able to discuss the certain artifacts they found that are still utilized in the military today.”
Petty Officer 1st Class Andrej Paskevic, assigned to UCT 1 volunteered at Shelton Park Elementary School and enjoyed assisting the students in their annual archeological dig.
When Paskevic first arrived the volunteers were asked to prepare the soil in a 16×8 wooden box for eventual placement of the artifacts. The variety of artifacts included everything from old coins to spoons.
The students rotated through four stations that included digging for artifacts; photographing and recording the objects found; clearing, measuring and drawing sketches of the findings; and packaging and labeling the artifacts.
“At first students were a little quiet and shy, but after going through the entire stations one time and understanding the expectations, we observed rapid change and enjoyment of the event,” said Paskevic. “At the end of the archeological dig each student discovered anywhere from one to five different objects.”
Paskevic added while the students learned more about the archeological process they also learned what gratitude really means.
“Every volunteer received a thank you card from the students,” added Paskevic.
While the students gained a lot from the experience so did the Sailors. Petty Officer 2nd Class Fatri Clark volunteered alongside Paskevic.
“I really enjoyed helping out and seeing the kids smile, this is the first time I’ve done something like this and I would definitely do it again in the future,” said Clark.