Kids Dig Archaeology: K-12 Educational Programs

Our program uses archaeological inquiry to foster understanding of past and present cultures, and enhance science and citizenship education. We offer virtual and in-person programs that support current NGSS and HSS content standards.

Field Trips, Classroom Outreach, & Virtual Connections NOW AVAILABLE!


Visit the San Diego Archaeological Center for a memorable and unique learning experience.

I loved the interaction and hands-on component to close out the day. It really connected everything from all programs of the field trip. – Mathew Leader, High Tech High

Visits to the Center can range from a simple tour and chat with an archaeologist, to multiple interactive programs.

Possible field trip programs include:


Archaeology Quest through 10,000 years of local history and multiple interactive exhibits such as Observe & Infer, Ceramic Reconstruction, Artifact Junction, and the Field Excavation Lab.


Step into the fascinating field of archaeology! Learn what archaeology actually is, where we work, the variety of tools we use, and how we study the past here and all over the world.


Learn about a specific artifact class or feature, then make your own to take home. Examples include pottery, rock art, stone beads and cordage.


Peek inside the curation vaults and visit the research and collections lab.

Most enjoyable aspect of the field trip, according to the children – EVERYTHING! They didn’t want to leave. – Vicki Behkopf Montessori School

Home School

The Education Department will customize a field trip program to fit the needs of your home school group.  Please contact us to discuss your visit.

For rates, scheduling and questions, complete our Youth Education Form below.

Schedule Your Field Trip


Our interactive programs bring the fascinating world of archaeology to your school or organization. Each program runs 45-60 minutes and can be customized to fit your needs.

The outreach program is phenomenal! It was so great for my students to learn from an archaeologist as passionate about their work as Vanessa. I felt like my students could really relate to her positive energy and teachings. – Jason Cowell, 6th Grade World History, San Marcos Middle School

Outreach Programs Include:

  • All About Archaeology
  • Pottery & Pinch Pots
  • Careers in Archaeology
  • Ancient Echoes
  • Kids Dig Archaeology
  • Artifact Investigation
Featured Programs


Ancient Echoes is a kinder outreach program that focuses on making connections between literature and art. Our littlest explorers are invited to dig deep into the topics and themes of archaeology through creating art and putting words into action in an interactive activity. The program will include reading aloud an archaeology-themed story, crafting with ideas, and experimenting with tools of the past.

  • Children ages 4-6
  • Program run time is 35-45 minutes
  • Booking is through our online form
  • Rates are in accordance with our outreach programs


  1. Introduce words, themes, sounds, and action centered around archaeology.
  2. Be able to identify story patterns and formulate opinions about a text.
  3. We focus on creating spaces for cognitive, physical and emotional development.
  4. Develop projects that reflect our historical understanding of the past in a way that is relevant to them and the Center.


Our littlest pre-k students become Jr. Archaeologists in this hands-on program, which provides the opportunity to excavate, or, in other words, dig, like a real archaeologist! Using skills involved in excavation, students will look into ancient and historic artifacts and modern-day items that will likely become artifacts. Students will be challenged to use their sensory skills to find artifacts of the distant past and future.


In this interactive program, Middle and High School students have the rare opportunity to learn from actual artifacts. Using skills of observation and inference, students examine ancient and historic artifacts in order to determine their function and material type. Students will be challenged to make identifications using contextual clues, just like a real archaeologist investigating in the field!

Vanessa did a great job engaging our students and sparking their curiosity about archaeology and the study of artifacts.  We would love to have her back! – Jesse McAteer 6th and 7th Grade Ancient World History San Marcos Middle School

For rates, scheduling and questions, complete our Youth Education Form below.

Schedule Your Classroom Outreach


We thought it was a FANTASTIC program! – Stacey Wright


Step into the fascinating field of archaeology! Learn what archaeology actually is, where we work, the variety of tools we use, and how we study the past here and all over the world. Think like an archaeologist – practice critical thinking skills to determine how tools were used in the past.


Did you know that pottery was the first synthetic material made by humans? Learn the history and traditional methods in preparing clay and creating pottery. Then create your own clay pinch pot to decorate and keep. This program works great on its own or as an add-on to ALL ABOUT ARCHAEOLOGY.

Supplies can be provided by the school, or arrangements can be made for pick-up at SDAC or delivery to your school for an additional fee.

Looking for something else… Archaeology lessons can be created for your specific curriculum needs.

Check-out Dr. Arty Fax’s Archy Facts blog for kids, introducing them to the wonderful world of archaeology!

For rates, scheduling, and questions, complete our Youth Education Form below.

Schedule Your Virtual Connections Program


For rates and scheduling, complete our Youth Education Form. For more information, please email

We are happy to partner with Arts Bus Xpress who help fund transportation and virtual program costs. For funding your Field Trip Xperience, please visit to apply for a grant today.


Exhibitions Volunteers assist with the design, construction, and installation of Center Museum exhibits.

Volunteers work in the Center’s Research Library, cataloguing materials and organizing on a computer-based system.

Marketing and Administrative Volunteers assist the Development Office or Administration Office with data entry, updating marketing materials and clerical tasks. Computer experience is a plus.

Docents welcome visitors and answer general questions regarding the Center and exhibits. Docents staff the gift shop and help out with administrative and curatorial tasks.

Volunteers support event activities at the Center, such as the Annual BBQ, lectures, workshops, and fundraising events. Be a part of the party!

Volunteer provide support for K-12 programs offered at the Center. These are fun, hands-on programs that kids really enjoy. Teaching experience is a plus, but not required. Background checks are required.


With the assistance of Center staff, the intern will use photogrammetry to prepare one or more archaeological collections for digital preservation, as well as create a virtual museum exhibit for our Public Archaeology department. Per approval, special projects of the intern’s choosing are also available. During the research and planning, the intern will receive guidance as appropriate to their selected project. Prospective interns should already be familiar with photogrammetric procedures, and Agisoft Metashape.

Collections Management

With the assistance of Center staff, the intern will prepare one or more archaeological collections for curation. During the course of the internship, the intern will learn to identify artifacts and ecofacts common to the San Diego region, including lithics, ceramics, historical objects, and faunal, botanical, and mineral specimens. Center staff will instruct the intern on archaeological laboratory procedures such as basic artifact analysis, manual and computer cataloguing, storage requirements, and preventative conservation. In addition, the intern will become familiar with historical trends in archaeological practice in the San Diego area and will be introduced to current legal and ethical issues in archaeological curation as well as the concerns and rights of culturally affiliated groups with regard to archaeological materials.

Development and Marketing

Under the direction of Center staff, the intern will support the department in various activities, including, but not limited to, fundraising and grant research; e-newsletter development; social media marketing; and website maintenance. This internship will give the intern valuable, real-world experience in non-profit fundraising and marketing.

Geographical Information Systems in Archaeology

Prospective Interns must have completed three courses: Introduction to GIS, GIS Database Management, and Intermediate/Advanced Methods in GIS. The intern will be assigned a project where they will create shapefiles and maps for curated archaeological collections, museum exhibits, and/or public outreach using ArcGIS 10.6. Center staff will instruct the intern on archaeological GIS laboratory procedures such as computer cataloguing, storage requirements, and database management.

Library Science

With the assistance of Center staff, the intern will arrange and catalog materials in the Center’s library. During the course of the internship, the intern will take a leading role in the cataloging, sorting and storing of research files and creating user guides for these collections. Center staff will instruct the intern on archival procedures, computer cataloging, storage requirements, and preventative conservation.

Public Archaeology

Harness your passion for Public Archaeology and gain hands-on experience with K-12 museum field trips, lectures, and public outreach. Additional projects may include creating virtual museum exhibits and activities, assisting in the development and implementation of K-12 curricula programs, planning and presenting public facing content, or educational field trip content of your own design. Must be able to pass a Live Scan.