Ancient Invention History Project

When the 6th Grade History teachers came to The IDEA Lab and asked for support for this project, I was ecstatic! That's what The Lab is here for!

The 6th graders were tasked with learning about an ancient innovation of their choice and explaining how it changed the way people lived.  They also had to create a model of their innovation.  Students researched and made their choices in History class but came into The Lab to build.  They used clay for ancient tablets, wood, the 3D printer, core board, styrofoam, and other media to demonstrate their learning.  After their in-class oral presentations, their pieces went to our Auditorium for an Ancient Invention Museum day.

Student as learner; teacher as guide.


Here you can see a carving of an oracle bone. These were bones (typically turtle or oxen) used by the ancient Chinese to tell the future.  Because they were used in fire ceremonies, many oracle bones have been discovered intact. They serve as excellent examples of ancient Chinese writing.  Elita chose to use our Carvey machine to depict her oracle bone.  Carvey uses Easel app you can find on  Elita carved her project from a beautiful piece of poplar wood.



This is Grace's ancient Chinese silk loom.  Grace had no experience with a sharp saw, chisel, or drill but she came into The IDEA Lab on a Saturday to work with me one-on-one.  That quiet time together made all the difference in her work product and in her learning.  Her loom is square to itself and to the table. Cuts that were not deep enough the first time were deepened. Holes that were not the right size were re-drilled.  Pieces that weren't exactly right were replaced. The glue-ups were all done with clamps.  This is a really beautiful piece of work.  Grace was so proud to show it during her presentation and then, again, in the museum display at the end of the project.



This photo is Ray's sundial. He was curious about how he could use the Carvey machine but I had no time at that moment to sit and teach him. So, he figured it out for himself -- concentric circles with increasing depth of cut.  We originally planned to cut the circle out of the piece of wood so it would look like a traditional sun dial, but we liked it better this way. We also cut out the triangular piece using Carvey. It will cut all the way through your wood soooooo precisely that it never touches the surface of the carving plate.

For more pictures of the Ancient Inventions Museum, click here.