Skype Brings Ancient Mayan Civilization to AE/MS Students

Skype a Scientist Program

By Megan Philbrook
Through the Skype a Scientist program, AE/MS’s sixth grade was matched with a Ph.D student in the area of Archaeology from Brown University. Mr. Josh virtually presented to Mrs. Philbrook’s eager class. He discussed his work as a bioarchaeologist and expert on the Ancient Mayan civilization. Josh opened his presentation by asking the class, “What does your trash show off about your life?” His presentation closely followed the Ancient Civilizations curriculum that has been introduced to the students at AE/MS and reinforced many taught hypotheses. He intrigued the students with new facts in regards to burial processes, for which the Mayans preferred to bury their family members under their homes, and that the skulls of infants were often re-shaped to look like corn cobs (a sign of future prosperity). The biggest takeaway from the activity was furthered interest in history and how different historians study and observe the past. Caption: Megan Philbrook. Photo: Kasey Schoch.