Rocks and ArchitectureWe learned that in ancient Egypt and Greece architecture was influenced by the type of rock that was available to use as a building material. Sedimentary rocks, such as the limestone blocks in the Pyramids at Giza in Egypt, do well under compression. The pyramid shape mimics that of a mountain with the blocks at the top only having to support their own weight. The blocks at the bottom have to support the weight of all the blocks above them and the pyramid shape helps to distribute the load.
|The Pyramids at Giza|
We also learned that the huge and beautiful sandstone columns in the Great Hypostyle Hall at the Karnak Temple Complex in Luxor, Egypt are actually made of huge puck shaped stones stacked on top of each other. (You can't just take a long slab of sandstone and turn it 90 degrees to make a pillar--the rock will fracture.) Stacking the stones like pucks to make columns takes advantage of the fact that the horizontal layers of the sandstone do well under compression. The Egyptians had to have many columns close together to support the sandstone roof since the rock spanning the columns does not do well under tension.
|Columns in the Great Hypostyle Hall at the Karnak Temple Complex in Luxor, Egypt. It looks like a storehouse for wide columns!|
In Greece we learned that the presence of marble allowed the ancient Greeks to build more slender columns with larger spaces between them because marble is a much stronger rock. Look at the 'slinky' columns in the photo of the Erechtheion, a temple devoted to Athena and Neptune on the Acropolis of Athens. The columns are tall and well spaced out due to the strength of marble!
|The Erechtheion, the Acropolis of Athens.|
Programming with Scratch
This week we explored the idea that when you are programming you have the 'tell' the computer every step you want it to carry out. You have to be specific and you have to use a common language. The students went on to follow a Step-By-Step set of instructions on how to make a 'sprite' (character) in Scratch dance.
Thanks for dropping by to see what we've been doing!
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