CyArk Presents Ancient Engineers Activity at the Lawrence Hall of Science

by Nicole Medina
August 1, 2008
On July 31, the Lawrence Hall of Science hosted a day of events devoted to ancient engineers of the past. CyArk held a special exhibit on Mayan pyramids and erosion's effects on heritage sites, featuring laser scan 3-D models and hands-on science experiments. Over 100 kids participated in the event and built some amazing pyramids of their own!

CyArk provided live demonstrations of 3-D models of temples from Tikal, a Mayan site in Guatemala. The crowd was especially excited to see the laser scan fly-over animations of temples in Chichen Itza, Mexico. Using the 3-D models kids were able to compare the similarities and differences between the Mayan pyramids and the Egyptian pyramids. Some of the older kids in the crowd were eager to share what they had learned in school about the Maya with the younger kids. CyArk shared ways that that new technologies and laser scan 3-D models can help archaeologists and help serve as a record for the future.

Kids of all ages learned how to make their own sugar cubes pyramids--and then proceeded to destroy them in an erosion experiment. Spray bottles were used to simulate erosion caused by water at heritage sites. Kids observed their sugar cube pyramids crumbling away and collapsing into sticky ruins. The process was messy fun and was a big hit with all the participants! The sugar cube experiment helped remind kids that heritage sites are vulnerable to destruction from natural forces and that it's important to make records of these places before they are completely lost to time.

For the event, a new hand out activity for kids and their parents to try at home was developed. This take-home science experiment was created in comic book format and was designed especially for kids ages 7 -12. Be sure to look for more comics from CyArk in the near future! The comic activity can be downloaded downloaded here
Related Projects:
Chichén Itzá
Ancient Thebes