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EXPLORING ANCIENT WATER WAYS

These activities align with the following National Science Education Standards:
Content Standard C: Life Science—Populations and Ecosystems
Content Standard D: Earth and Space Science—Properties of Earth Materials

Technology is applied science. When people use their personal observations and experiments to develop practical solutions, their ideas and tools become part of the technological resources to be shared with others. The farmers at Hupobi had a great deal of experience growing food in an area of little rainfall. Consequently, they developed dry-farming technology that worked for their environment.

The activities described below let students gain a personal experiential base to test the ancient technologies. Encourage them to ponder why these methods worked for the people of Hupobi, and how they would fare in their own environment.

You might also explore broader questions. For example, to what extent can people take technology developed in one environment and apply it, unchanged, to a second environment? Can scientists from one part of the world develop solutions for people living in other parts of the world? What can we learn from traditional peoples such as the Native Americans of the Southwest or tribal peoples of the South American rainforest?

Activities

Click on the links below for the activity you want:

Water Diversion

Students will observe the effect of erosion on soil samples, demonstrate the effect of water diversion features on runoff as a way to control erosion and as a way to collect and retain soil, and simulate agricultural dry-farming techniques.

Water Retention

Students will demonstate gravel mulching and build a model of a waffle garden to observe ways in which altering the soil can affect the amount of moisture the soil retains.

Infiltration Rates

Students will observe and compare the relative rate and depth of soil infiltration in five soil samples.

Slope Aspect and Soil Temperature

Students will determine teh effect of aspect (the direction faced by the slopes that contain crops) on soil temperature.

These lessons were developed by Terrill L. Nickerson, the Santa Fe Indian School.

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