Summer Fun at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science

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I would not want to stumble upon one of these in the wild!
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Although most of these bones are recreated, they are modeled using a combination of real bones and computer models.
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This little guy is eager for his prehistoric meal.
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A look at a small portion of the museums vast collection of fossils.
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One of the most engaging features of the Prehistoric Journey exhibit is the opportunity to watch paleontologists uncover real dinosaur bones. The crowd surrounding this window was huge!
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Another look inside.
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The featured exhibit at the museum centered on the Ancient Mayan Civilization. This map highlights the many ancient cultures that occupied Mesoamerica at the same time as the Maya.
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A detailed look at the many glyphs used by the Maya to convey important messages.
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A recreation of a sacrificial alter used by Mayan priests. Each of the 12 Mayan kings are carved into the sides. In order to please the gods, priests sacrificed and buried 12 jaguars under the alter.
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A former Mayan king.
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Jade burial mask and sacrificial bowl.
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These types of skulls would be buried alongside deceased individuals in order to please the gods of the underworld.
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A look at other burial items.
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To further reinforce the Maya glyph system, visitors were encouraged to create their own Maya name using the glyphs.
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Additionally, visitors were exposed to the intircate and advanced Maya calendar system by inputing their Gregorian birthday and comparing it to their Maya birthday.
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A detailed look at one of the many scrolls used by Maya stargazers to predict the Earth’s seasons.
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Building background knowledge of traditional Mayan societal roles via computer technology.
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Ancient teeth with gemstone inlays. Those are some fancy cavities!
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Day-to-day clothing during ancient times.
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Today’s clothing common amongst the Mayan people.
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Enjoyed the World Cup? You can thank the Maya! They developed one of the earliest recorded ball games using an 8 lb rubber ball and players’ hips.
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Action shot. I can’t imagine catching a stray ball in the knee. Or arm. Or head.
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The Maya painted their temples using native dyes and fruits. The final product during ancient times would look like the lower left of the temple while today’s greyscale hue can be seen everywhere else.
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Sending and receiving tribute was essential to the strength of the Maya empire. A look at what royalty would expect during the time period.
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A sophisticated bean counting system helped Maya stargazers and scholars with their work.
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Another new addition to the museum is the Discovery Zone. This screams STEM education and experiential learning.
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Kinetics in action!
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Subtle scaffolds and instructional cues prompted children to hypothesize and test their predictions.

 

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