BASSETT – Students at Bassett High School’s Bengal Tech Academy recently took a trip around the world – without leaving the classroom.
Working in collaborative groups, ninth graders chose a part of the world to which they would – or would have – traveled if an end-of-the-world scenario occurred. Needing to rebuild a devastated planet, they considered resources necessary for life itself. They explored the cultures of China, Egypt, India and Mesopotamia.
Nicole Bridges took a look at modern-day China, while Joseph Flores went back in time to ancient Egypt.
Students created travel guides with a Microsoft Word template and tried to convince their peers why their destination was best through presentations.
“The reason we did the travel guide is because we wanted to learn about different locations,” Bridges said.
Each group took the country’s customs, geography, food, entertainment and recreational activities into consideration. When they came across interesting information that stood out to them, students added it to their presentation.
“My favorite fact is that in China, instead of police dogs, sometimes they have police geese,” Bridges said.
She explained that police train the fowl and that they can be just as intimidating as the four-legged forces.
“Geese can be vicious,” Bridges said.
For their attention grabber, Bridges’s group played traditional Chinese music while she read an old Chinese poem, “Ode to Goose.”
Sending their travel guide over the top, the China specialists brought fortune cookies for all of their classmates.
“Everyone immediately liked us because we gave out food,” Bridges said.
While Flores’s group didn’t bring snacks, they certainly brought forth interesting concepts.
“We were more like professors at a college,” Flores said about his team.
The ancient Egypt scholars uncovered facts they did not expect to find.
“For entertainment, [the Egyptians] played board games,” Flores said.
The student explained one pastime, Senet. The game entailed a board of 30 squares with various obstacles facing a set of pawns. To move forward, players threw sticks in the air and let them fall. Each stick had a dark and light side, representative of how many spaces a pawn could move in a single go.
“If you got the lighter side of the stick, you might move five spaces,” Flores explained. “The objective of the game was the more pieces you got off the board, the better.”
Given the chance to do the project again, Bridges felt she would stick with China. Flores converted to China as well.
“One group had Kung Fu Panda music,” Flores said about one team’s presentation that impressed him.
For the project as a whole, Bridges said, “It was a great way to learn a lot.”