TVA gives educators a chance to get hands-on with history

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. -- The Tennessee Valley Authority is giving teachers an opportunity to get hands-on experience to take back to their classrooms.

Teachers from across Alabama stepped out of the classroom and into history Thursday morning.

"We are taking a group of educators out to Painted Bluff," explained Project Archeology Master Teacher Jen Knutson.

That site is in Marshall County on the Tennessee River. There are more than 100 rock art images on the bluff itself.

"It is pre-contact, 600 years ago," Knutson explained.

Thursday's trip was part of a nation-wide program called Project Archaeology.

"Its goals are to discover the past and shape the future, and bring archeology education to the classroom," Knutson said.

The program is cross-curricular and gives teachers a hands-on experience to use with the provided curriculum in the classroom. TVA sponsored the Painted Bluff aspect of it.

"It's very important that we teach future generations to protect these resources and appreciate them. And the way to do that is to get this curriculum in school systems," TVA Senior Archaeological Specialist Erin Pritchard said.

The program teaches kids the history of similar sites across the nation and how important it is to protect them.  Project Archaeology is a joint program of Montana State University and the Bureau of Land Management.