Hi teacher friends,
I’ve been busy creating a series of STEM projects for students who are studying Medieval Times &/or Ancient Civilizations.. Next stop, Mesoamerica!
Challenge 1: Floating Gardens Challenge!
The Aztec built floating gardens by weaving sticks together to
create a giant raft. The giant rafts were surrounded by water
canals. The canals enabled drainage of the wetland soil during
seasonal rains. During the dry seasons, the water could infiltrate
the floating gardens from the canals, the soil easily absorbing the
water. These gardens were up to 300 feet long by 30 feet wide.
Here’s the Floating Gardens STEM Challenge:
Using a list of supplies, STEM teams must design and build floating gardens
(chinampas). The STEM teams must test materials that can support the
weight of a garden while floating in water. Their design must have soil, seeds
(or plants), a bin filled with water, and floating devices for their garden. They
must have at least 3 Chinampas in their design.(**scroll down to the bottom of the post for listed materials and guides!!)
Challenge 2: Aztec Calendar Coding Challenge!
The Aztec calendar stone was created by the Aztecs after the fall of Maya. In the center of the stone is their sun god, Tonatiuh. The calendar has a 365 day calendar cycle known as “xiuhpohualli” and a 260 day ritual cycle referred to as “tonalphualli”. Together they create a calendar round, forming a 52-year “century”.
Here’s the Calendar Coding STEM Challenge:
Using a list of supplies, STEM teams will first create a Mesoamerican calendar. On the calendar,students must decide on made-up symbols that represent letters of the alphabet. They must create an answer key of their symbols that correlate with the letters A-Z. Their calendar will have a coded message. The message must be a prediction about the future and it must contain at least five words. Different colored symbols can be used as a clue for students to know how many letters each word contains in the sentence. When multiple groups are finished, they can give their calendar
codes to each other and try to guess what the other group’s message is.