Thursday, January 28, 2010

Amber

Noor's interest in dinosaurs and fossils was peaked this weekend when we took her to see (and touch!) a great collection of fossils and gems. She spent a lot of time looking at amber under a microscope and wanted to make her own when we got home.

She figured out the process entirely on her own, with a bit of Socratic questioning from me. It went something like this:

N: "How can I fossilize tree sap?"
B: "It would take a very, very long time--millions of years."
N: "If I catch that bug and soak it in agave nectar it will look like amber."
B: "Will it be solid or liquid?"
N: "Liquid...but if I freeze it, it will turn solid!"

Please don't tell PETA

Egypt: The Nile River and Hieroglyphics


After reading about Ancient Egypt, Noor wrote everyone's name in hieroglyphics and cuneiform. The ink for the Sumerian cuneiform is made from mashed up blueberries.



Next, Noor carved a message in a clay tablet. She decided that writing on paper is much easier. We'll leave both the clay tablet and the paper scroll outside for a few days and see which lasts longer over time.




We also built a model of the Nile River and planted grass seed on the banks, which Noor flooded. We'll continue flooding the Nile once a week to see how early irrigation worked.