CyArk Demos Technology to Local Middle School

by Katia Chaterji
February 27, 2015
Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of presenting to the 7th grade class at Bay Farm Elementary School in Alameda, California. As part of a series of presentations by local professionals, CyArk discussed the importance of heritage preservation in today’s world and the many methods in which important cultural resources may be documented, ranging from small artifacts to entire landscapes. We also demonstrated the Artec Eva hand scanner to share one exciting new way that artifacts (or even people!) are captured in 3D.

Bay Farm Elementary is a K-8 innovative school located on Alameda’s Bay Farm Island. Prioritizing access to technology, Bay Farm emphasizes experiential learning, community involvement, and creative educational ideas. A BYOD campus (Bring Your Own Device), students are well-versed in new technological trends and improvements, and are encouraged to explore new devices and programs both in and out of the classroom.

A particularly interesting feature at Bay Farm is the school’s hypothesized location within a Native shellmound site. Alameda alone was once the site of five shellmounds, or sacred Native burial grounds, and Bay Farm’s close proximity has led the seventh grade class to explore ways to reveal and better understand this uncovered history. I was therefore very excited to share with the class CyArk’s recent work in collaboration with Caltrans and the Oakland Museum of California to digitally reconstruct the Emeryville Shellmound, located in the modern day Bay Street shopping complex. The students’ asked wonderful questions about the reconstruction process, and truly grasped the idea of what additional geographic, historic, and technical information is needed to complete such an endeavor.

A live demonstration of the Artec Eva, a hand scanner that captures up to 16 frames per second, provided an excellent way to show how smaller objects or artifacts can be captured immediately. The concept of fast and simple documentation struck a chord as we discussed the ways that cultural heritage objects are facing destruction today. Students tested out the Eva to scan their friends, and were able to explore the scan previews live.

On behalf of the CyArk team, I would like to thank Ms. Nancy Ely and Ms. Jeannette Frechou for welcoming us to their classroom! We are always thrilled to share our work with local teachers and students, and look forward to further collaborations with local schools in the future.
CyArk's Katia Chaterji presenting digital preservation projects around the world to Bay Farm's 7th graders.
Aerial view of Bay Farm Island, Alameda, California.
Photograph showing the Artec Eva in action, as used to digitally preserve unique features at Geghard monastery in Armenia.