Science and History of Ancient Egypt: Mummified Hot Dog
When Emily L. raced ahead in her science class, her teacher, Lynda Yotta, seized the opportunity to not only engage Emily’s scientific curiosity but also create cross-curricular connections with her history class. The result? A fascinating exploration into the world of mummification, combining Emily’s understanding of the human body with the mysteries of ancient Egyptian culture.
In the science classroom, Emily had already explored cells, organs, and body systems. Lynda’s project idea took shape as they embarked on the unusual task of mummifying a hot dog using bicarbonate, mirroring the age-old process of human mummification. The goal extended beyond the scientific realm, aiming to immerse Emily in ancient Egyptian life, culture, religion, and the scientific advancements that defined their civilization.
“I also wanted her to see what the ancient Egyptians did to the bodies of their dead,” Lynda added. The goal of the hot dog mummification was to combine Emily’s scientific understanding of bodies (and mummification) with ancient history, especially ancient Egyptian culture, life, religion, and the scientific advances they made. This kind of cross-curricular connection is important here at EYC Academy.
Emily diligently recorded the weight, length, and circumference of the hot dog before, during, and after the mummification process. The hot dog, symbolizing the human body in this unique experiment, was covered in baking soda and sealed in an airtight container. Weekly examinations became a routine as Emily and Lynda observed and recorded changes over the course of a month.
To further enrich the cross-curricular experience, Emily took on the role of a historian in addition to scientist. She worked with her history teacher Shari Hollander during their class to learn more about ancient Egyptian culture, society, and religion. They explored the pharaohs, hieroglyphics, and the customs and culture of everyday life. With her new knowledge, Emily created a slideshow presentation that explored daily life, culture, inventions, and the historical context of ancient Egypt. Thus, her scientific and historical skill sets were both practiced in this project.
Emily has had a great time finding out about ancient Egyptian life, culture, and their scientific advancements. The role of their religion in their daily life and the process of mummification was particularly interesting! And while the science of mummifying the hot dogs was fun, the smell and look of the mummified hot dog wasn’t so enjoyable!
This project for Emily exemplifies our commitment to providing students with holistic learning experiences. By intertwining scientific exploration with historical inquiry, students like Emily not only gain a deeper understanding of individual subjects but also develop critical thinking skills by drawing connections across disciplines.