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  1. Rainforests

    Explore the rainforest ecosystem by examining all of its parts. Smell spices that were once of higher value than gold, investigate the relationship between a bird's beak and the types of food it eats, and examine how the leaves in the rainforest have evolved to efficiently shed water from their surfaces. Then, collect your own leaf samples and hold a competition to see which local leaves shed water the best. Learn More
  2. Life Along the Nile

    The Nile River was a source of water and life for the Ancient Egyptians. Examine a fishing net, papyrus paper, and other objects in this box to identify common themes of life along the Nile. Learn to operate a model of a shaduf, an ancient water-lifting device still in use today. Then, hold a debate about whether life in Ancient Egypt could have existed without the Nile River. Spanish language activity book and object cards are available upon request. Learn More
  3. 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
  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. 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
  6. Woodland Native American Shelter

    Homes are designed to provide shelter for their inhabitants living in a particular environment and climate. Some homes are built for temporary or seasonal purposes. Others are built as permanent structures. The Woodland Native Americans built summer and winter homes. Discover the materials used to build woodland shelters and the environment and climate in which they were built. Design and build your own wigwam to understand how Woodland Native Americans used to build their shelters! Learn More

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