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Follow this link to the article that appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle on September 31, 2012:

"High Schoolers Dig Into S.F. History"

Click to watch the video



Sutro Heights Archeology 2013

sutro conservatory.jpgIda B. Wells High School is participating in apartnership with the National Park Service.  Part of the partnership involved 3 days in the field.  We worked on an archeological site at Sutro Heights Park, near Lands End, looking for architectural remains of a conservatory that Adolph Sutro built in the late 1800s


We participated in a pedestrian survey, where we look at the ground for artifacts.  Students flagged items when they saw them.  They found bones, broken pieces of pottery, and shell fragments.

IMG_0720.JPGStudents climbed up the rocks to look at a World War II era bunker that was built on the side of Sutro's parapet at Sutro Heights Park.

IMG_0723.JPGStudents, in conjunction with National Park Service archeologists, rangers, and volunteers, excavated two floors from the conservatory. 

IMG_0741.JPGStudents learned how to sift through the soil that was excavated to look for artifacts.  They found broken pieces of glass, pottery, pieces of concrete, and other items that still have to be deciphered!

IMG_0751.JPGWe rode on a really cool bus that the National Park Service foundation paid for.  It was a converted school bus, with solar panels, bio-diesel powered, and had a hook up for an iPod.  Student Tatiana Mims was the DJ for our ride!


Students worked so well together and with the National Park Service staff and volunteers.  It was great to see the camaraderie. 

IMG_0776.JPGThis floor is the entry way to the conservatory that students uncovered.  It had been completely covered with grass and soil.  We're leaving it uncovered for visitors to see.


This is the floor of the main part of the conservatory that students uncovered.  We covered up about 70% of it, as it was not in good condition, and it was decided that people might steal the tiles (that's already happened in some parts of the floor), if they left it completely uncovered.


The students worked so hard!

IMG_0804.jpgStudent Tuala Auimatagi loves nature and insects.  Whenever someone found a living insect in the soil that they were either digging or sifting, they'd bring it to Tuala to check it out!

IMG_0810.JPGLeo Barker, the NPS archeologist, engaged students in a discussion about what was going to happen to the artifacts that they uncovered.

IMG_0819.JPGAfter three hard days of work, we took a hike around Lands End and Sutro Baths.


Students had seen photographs and video of what Sutro baths once looked like.  It was amazing to see the ruins in person.

IMG_0840.JPGStudents Rosa Gamez and Ashley Blackmon walking up the hill holding hands.  It was so nice to see the students having so much fun!


On our last ride, students Tatiana Mims, Tuala Auimatagi, and Ashley Blackmon sang along to New Edition's "Mr. Telephone Man," a song that came out 10 years before they were born!!