A Trip to Mesopotamia - Poland Middle School Grade 6 Irrigation Projects
The inventions of the human race over time have been instrumental to our own progress. While the lightbulb is bright and the iPhone is smart, few inventions were quite as fruitful as the earliest irrigation systems used in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia.
Students in 6th grade at Poland Middle School had a hand in inventing their own irrigation systems. Their challenge was to build a miniature civilization with soil, sand, rocks, grass, buildings, and crops. However, a flow of freshwater would be added later, representing the flooding of the Nile River. Too much water and the civilization would erode away. Not enough water and the crops and civilization would fail.
The secret was in controlling the water flow, and students were equipped with a little more than popsicle sticks, clay, and cotton swabs. In the weeks proceeding construction, students had learned about levees, dams, and canals.
With limited supplies, the students had to make sections for housing and farming using just rocks, soil, sand, and clay. Despite the difficulties, the intuitive students of Poland Middle School utilized their knowledge of water-stopping systems and became architects of Ancient Mesopotamia.