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Science meets survival skills and Aztecs

By: Ashleigh Harrington, Category: Lifelong Learning, Date: 17 Oct 2014

The Mighty Aztecs and Survival Science might not have much in common

September School Holidays Program #1

September School Holidays Program #1
Photographer:  © Cali4beach

What they do have in common is the enormous amount of fun that was had by kids on each of these unique holiday programmes at the Australian Museum.

The first week of the September school holidays saw a crowd of 8-12 year olds exploring our new Aztecs exhibition, painting their own authentic Aztec pottery, using the science behind archeology to dig for relics and challenging each other as Eagle and Jaguar warriors in the fight to the death that was the Aztec ‘ball game’ – Tlachtli.

Kids explored the rich culture of the pre-Hispanic Mexicans, helping each other search for clues in the exciting new exhibition so Cortés can decide whether or not he should invade the land of the Mexica. Children went home with their own hoard of Aztec treasures; their highly decorated pottery, a copy of the Aztec board game patolli, and their own codex which told the children’s stories in intricate Aztec glyphs.

During week two of the holidays, dozens of children spent a fun-filled day learning epic survival skills for the Australian bush in our Survival Science day. Children spent the morning examining different animal tracks, gathering survival tips from the Surviving Australia exhibit and checking out some ways Indigenous Australians survived our harsh landscape, including how to make a fire using dried kangaroo poo!

Children spent the sunny afternoon meeting some dangerous Australian spiders (along with our resident expert, Martyn Robinson), signaling in Morse code, practicing Snake-bite First Aid and even managing to extract clean water from muddy swamp water through their own home-made filters.

“Scientist For A Day” programmes are run for 8 to 12 year olds and are a sure fire way to have some crazy fun and learn something new over the break. Head to our website now to find out what new and exciting workshops will be running in January 2015.

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