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May 22, 2017

Ancient India STEM Challenges

STEM Challenges
Right now I'm in the process of creating a series of STEM projects for students who are studying Ancient Civilizations.. Next stop, Ancient India! :)


During the summertime in Ancient India (and still to this day), a monsoon would come every year, raining buckets and buckets of water. In Eastern India, a second monsoon would come as well during the end of summer. The ancient people of India had to figure out a way to save the water for the remainder of the year! 

STEM activities

The type of irrigation system that is shown in this sample STEM project is the Rahat (Lever System). A wheel is used in this type of irrigation. The wheel is often turned by oxen, cows, or buffalo.

In this STEM Challenge, students must design a model of an ancient irrigation system by selecting one using a guide (more information below). They must use their knowledge of simple machines by incorporating either a lever or pulley system in their design. The water must successfully be moved from one bin to another, the second bin representing the plants that need to be watered. The group that can create a system that moves the most water (without large amounts of spilling or wasting water) in the shortest amount of time wins the challenge! ***For more information and printable guides about the challenge, scroll to the end of the post!  




Ancient Civilizations STEM
A stupa is a mound-like Buddhist structure that is typically used as a place for meditating. The earliest stupas were built around late 4th century BC! (400-300 BC) 

In this STEM Challenge, the students must protect their stupa from flooding due to a monsoon. Materials must be added around the fence to protect water from entering the stupa. Water must be poured around the fence of their design, the water height must be at least a third of the height of their stupa. (For example, if the stupa is 12 inches tall, the water height must be 4 inches in their container.  Students must brainstorm which materials would stop the water from getting past the fence for a full 2 minutes***Check out the link below for more information about the challenge. 


Would you like the printable guides and listed materials for these Ancient India STEM Challenges? Click here!








May 18, 2017

Ancient Egypt STEM Ideas!


Right now I'm in the process of creating a series of STEM projects for students who are studying Ancient Civilizations.. Next stop, Ancient Egypt!  

I had been really looking forward to designing projects for this unit! I had so many different ideas for Egypt STEM challenges, it was hard to narrow it down to just two activities. I decided to focus on the process of mummification and how they preserved organs inside the canopic jars. I also decided that a pyramid challenge is a MUST in the STEM unit. 


Challenge #1 Mummified Apples in Canopic Jars

During the mummification process, the human organs were removed and preserved inside canopic jars.  The jars had hieroglyphic writing and the heads of different gods on top of the lids. The four sons of Horus (the god of the sky) were featured on the canopic jars.  Each jar contains a different organ.
 Natron was the preservative solution that the Egyptians used during the embalming process. It preserved the bodies and organs by drying out the moisture and it also served as a disinfectant. 

      In this STEM Challenge, using 4 slices of apple, students must test different mixtures using salt, baking soda, vinegar, and sugar. Out of the 4 slices, they must have a control group (no ingredients used on the apple) to measure the mummification process. They are trying to find the best version of the Egyptian's natron (preservative solution). They need to write down the exact measurements for each mixture using the next page. Each canopic jar needs to be labeled with the mixture. After applying the mixtures to the apples, they are placed inside the sealed jars.  For the next four days, students must record their observations during the mummification process. ***For more information about the challenge, scroll to the end of the post!  


The Ancient Egyptian pyramids are one of the most magnificent man-made structures created throughout history. The Egyptians began building pyramids during the beginning of the Old Kingdom, around 4,500 years ago. No building plans were discovered, so it is still a mystery on how the pyramids were built. 

In this STEM challenge, students must design either a freestanding square or rectangular pyramid. The goal of the challenge is to design the tallest pyramid in the shortest amount of time. If glue is used instead of non-drying clay or marshmallows, allow for drying time. Students only need to use the timer during building time. They can stop the clock while their pyramid dries. The group who can build the tallest pyramid in the shortest amount of time wins the challenge.***Check out the link below for more information about the challenge. 

Would you like the printable guides and listed materials for these Ancient Egypt STEM Challenges? Click here!

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