Monday, June 7, 2010

Coquina Queries wins Statewide Preservation Award

Last month Executive Director William Lees and myself stood up to accept a Statewide Preservation Award from the Florida Trust. The Florida Trust is a statewide organization dedication to the preservation of heritage sites. Each year they give awards to recognize those who made a special contribution over the year in the categories of historic preservation, historical archaeology landscape, and our own Heritage Education. We won alongside other organizations such as:

But back to us! Several components made up the overall Coquina Queries project: teacher activity guide, coquina kits, website, workshops, and festivals/events.
Teacher Activity Guide

Coquina Queries are a collection of ten lesson plans that bring together the geology, history, archaeology, environment, and chemistry of Florida ’s past through hands-on experiments and first-hand experiences with coquina. Each Coquina Queries unit combines three content areas: coquina structures, archaeological processes, and events and persons in Florida history. These units balance reading and writing with hands-on activities to stimulate student interest while building FCAT skills.


A total of four workshops have been held throughout northeast Florida. The first workshop occurred as a pilot in Flagler County in April 2008. Since that time, the workshop has repeated at DeBary Hall in Volusia County, Flagler College in St. Augustine, and the Amelia Island Museum of History. Opportunities to visit local sites is encouraged during the workshop and we follow up with the teachers regularly after the program. Workshops are announced by postcard mailer and email distribution lists. Our next workshop is July 15-16, 2010. Contact to register or for more information.

Coquina Kits

Along with the activity guide, the Center developed kits that could be checked out by schools and museums to assist in the hand-on components of the lessons. Materials needed for the experiments are provided to the educators, plus supplemental material including primary and secondary resources. Some tools and visual aids—such as indigo seeds, limestone, and donax shells—enhance learning opportunities for students.


All the lessons and images of the coquina kits are posted online at Educators can visit the site to find out more information about coquina, plan a trip with the interactive map of sites used throughout the guide, post a comment, or download the lessons for free from the ease of their own home or school.

Festivals and Library Programs

Center staff have modified the lessons for use in festivals—such as Coquina: Florida’s Pet Rock activity and display—as well as library programs and summer camps. Since the lessons are activity based, they work to hold the students interest through experimentation, while learning about the state’s significant buried past.

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