C ampers at conservation scientist for a day compressed

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This presentation shows the activities of middle and high school students learning about being an Art Conservation Scientist.

This presentation shows the activities of middle and high school students learning about being an Art Conservation Scientist.

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  • The staff of the 2013 Conservation Scientist for a Day included (Left to Right): Jason Church, Curtis Desselles, Carol Chin, Sarah Hunter, Ben Donnen, and Paul Gordon.
  • Eleven Campers started the day learning about cultural heritage and conservation science.
  • Next, they learned about how simple pots were made by pinching and coiling. Curtis Desselles showed them examples of Native American pottery.
  • Here is a close-up of some examples of textures created on native American pottery.
  • Next, Carol Chin demonstrated how to wedge clay and create pinch pots and coiled pots.
  • The Campers are kneading and working their clay.
  • Each Camper tried their hand at creating a pot.
  • This was truly a hands-on experience.
  • Tthis pot was created by Veronica Sturman, one of the Campers.
  • Next the Campers learned about local archeology. They heard about the Native American and French settlements and the pottery wares associated with those cultures. Ben Donnen talked about the recent dig in the historic district as part of the previous NCPTT History Detectives Camp.
  • Campers received a piece of archeological pottery to document. They described the conditions and drew images of the objects.
  • They photographed their object under controlled conditions.
  • Next, Campers were broken into small groups where they rotated to one of three stations. Here we see Campers examining the physical condition of their objects under magnification and through optical microscopy.
  • Anthony Thompson and HarlanPicht are getting a close-up look at their objects.
  • Veronica Sturman enjoys looking at her artifact.
  • At the second station, campers examine the chemical composition of their objects using chemical spot tests.
  • Each camper samples a small bit of their object for testing.
  • Next the sample is transferred to a glass plate containing spot wells.
  • Under the microscope, test chemicals are added to the sample and the camper observes any reactions.
  • The Third station that the Campers attend focuses on more accurate instrumental methods to examine the chemical composition of their object Here, the Campers learn about X-ray interaction with atoms, the periodic table, and X-ray Fluorescence.
  • Through testing their samples with portable X-ray Fluorescence, they participants learn the composition of their study object.
  • Overall, the Campers had a great day!
  • The only thing left was the clean-up!


  • 1. Conservation Scientist for a Day