In addition to researching the history of the 1715 Fleet, its loss, rediscovery, and recovery, our mission also includes educating the public about the 1715 Fleet and all things Fleet related (coins, artifacts, etc.).
Recently I gave a presentation to members of our local library. The topic was “A Short History of the 1715 Fleet”. In conjunction with the presentation, I was asked to create a display featuring treasures from the 1715 Fleet. I prepared a PowerPoint a few years ago (with the technical assistance of one of my colleagues). What started out as a presentation for adults only (as part of the library’s ongoing “Programs for Adults”) morphed into a second presentation for children K through 5.
On July 11. I spoke to about 20 adults who signed up for the program. Apparently, it was a success judging from the reviews that the library received.
Then on July 14, I had the opportunity to offer my presentation to the K through 5 group of children (numbering about a dozen) and their parents. This was a first for me. I had never presented such a complicated subject to young children before. I had to figure out something quickly with only a three-day window. From adults to young children is a pretty big spread and I don’t downshift that fast! But, with the help of the capable and cooperative library staff, a program was created that gave me 15 minutes of presentation time, followed by “show and tell’ with real treasure that I allowed the kids to handle and pass around. I discovered that children love to touch things that are usually behind glass cases and far from their grasp. When I asked the children if they would like me to let them hold some of the treasure, a dozen hands shot across the table!
The library staff created a number of “stations” that included making a pirate flag (they like pirates), making a small boat out of aluminum, making a map, and things of that nature. The entire program lasted an hour and all seemed to have a good time.
Sometimes fulfilling our mission is hard work. But, my new experience with the children was a refreshing reminder of the allure that sunken treasure has, from the very young to the very old.
Ben Costello, President