AncientAncestors was first sparked in 2013 when Chris Bayer and Michael Luberda met in a New Orleans bike store.
Michael, Co-founder and Director, is a graduate of Tulane University in Anthropology with a focus in Archeology. Michael's academic focus was in Human Prehistory and the rise of civilization which led to his field work through UCLA at the Chalcolithic site, Areni Cave, Armenia. In New Orleans he served as the Science Station Guy at the Louisiana Arts and Science Museum, and now in St. Louis holds the position of Account Coordinator at Stealth Creative.
Co-founder Dr. Chris Bayer spent the last decade working for Tulane University in Africa, which exposed him to many of the valuable sites and artifacts unearthed in the Great Rift Valley of East Africa.
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Chris N. Bayer, PhD
We develop inquiry-based educational labs and then study their impact on student's knowledge acquisition.
Young minds are presented with varied, and in many cases, competing ideas on the origins of our species. Our advocacy begins with fostering scientific inquiry in the classroom, and assisting teachers to deliver quality labs to their students.
We strongly believe that the next generation must be fully informed about human evolution, and granting students exposure to the fossil evidence unearthed through the sweat, genius -- and sometimes sheer luck -- of Paleoanthropologists is a critical component thereof.
Thus far, our work has centered on developing and scaling up the reach of our 'Be a Paleoanthropologist for a Day' lab at the high school level.
AncientAncestors performed its lab in nine high schools in southern Louisiana in the 2013/2014 school year. Standard public schools, magnet schools, and parochial schools were all a part of our initial outreach effort. Our two-hour course was provided free of charge with the cooperation and assistance of biology teachers, and their feedback was essential in honing our curriculum to its current level.
Currently, in the US our lab is being rolled out by Robert Dennison under the banner of Rice University’s Advanced Topics Academy for AP Biology Teachers, and in Germany in collaboration with Dustin Eirdosh and Dr. Susan Hanisch at the Leipzig University.