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  1. Aztec and Maya Marketplace

    The objects in this box are representative of goods and foods commonly used by peoples of the Americas, specifically Aztec or Maya societies, including pottery, stones, textiles, and plants. Discuss the possible uses for each object, role-play what it would have been like to be a part of an ancient Aztec or Maya marketplace, discover modern equivalents to marketplaces in Chicago and around the world, and create art using techniques of ancient Aztec and Maya artisans. ATTENTION: The feathers in this Experience Box protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and may only be borrowed by educational institutions that are open to the general public and are non-profit (such as public or charter schools), but may not be borrowed by private individuals or institutions without a special permit. If you have any questions about whether you, or your institution, qualify to borrow this box without a permit, please contact us. Learn More
  2. Spore Bearing Mushrooms 2

    Did you know that mushrooms use spores instead of seeds? In this case we explore the different types of spore locations and dispersal. A number of specimens are shown here including coral, honeycomb, horn of plenty, bear's-head, and the scarlet fairy cup mushrooms. All of which are both edible and unique in their spore developing regions. Learn More
  3. Metate (Grinding Stone)

    The metate is a volcanic flat rock used in Mexico and Central America for grinding corn and other foods products. Students can experience grinning corn into meal. Learn More
  4. Corn

    Examine the great versatility and interesting cultural history of corn. A native of Mexico, corn's usefulness goes beyond flour and cornmeal, to paper, mattress stuffing and even explosives. Learn More
  5. Paper

    Ever wonder how a tree like the one in your backyard becomes the paper in your school notebook? Delve into the processing of paper from wood, only one of the materials paper is commonly made from. Learn More
  6. Tea

    Tea


    Tea may grow best in Asian countries, but it is an important cultural element of diets around the world. View the remarkable tea plant up close and discover some of the steps used to process and market it. Learn More
  7. Story of Chocolate

    Dive into the fascinating world of chocolate! Experience the ecological, biological and commercial importance of this treat, with a history dating back to the ancient Maya. Learn More
  8. Flowering Dogwood

    With over forty five different types of Dogwoods found in the United States, this plant ranges in size from a shrub to an immense tree. Used for wood, medicine, and dye, this plant features beautiful blossoms. Learn More
  9. Vamos a Comer

    Latin American cuisine displays great variability. Different regions within Latin America are known for their distinct styles of cooking and signature dishes, made with local crops and tools both ancient and modern. This Experience Box introduces students to a few of these dishes by exploring the ingredients and tools used to prepare them. Along the way students can: research the history of various foods, including their introduction to new consumers and transport into new markets; interact with the culinary tools to predict their uses; and act out what it would be like to fry a plantain or grind dried chile peppers. Learn More
  10. Rubber

    Bounce into the fascinating world of rubber production. Rubber is, and was, an important resource in Middle America. Extracted from milkweed trees, rubber is exposed to acid, sulphur and high heat to create a variety of useful materials. Rubber was imported into Central Mexico from Veracruz. Learn More

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