We have been working on basic structural concepts and ideas in this activity. They would build one paper pyramid out of square-base small pyramids, and the challenge was to put together as many as they could to build the largest pyramid.
As a source of inspiration, we began taking a look to the Giza pyramids in Egypt, and also to a timeline that showed events from 3.200 b.c. until today. In this timeline, time was drawn to scale, this way they could see their lifetime in relation to thousands of years. We discuss the concept of time and how far away the time of the pyramids was from our days; and yet, that many years ago, the ancient Egyptians had built those huge and extraordinary buildings.
We split the children into two teams to start building the square-base pyramids. First, they had to make the paper bars and tape them together to assemble the first pyramid. Then, they built a second one next to the first one, then a third one, and so on. Geometry was key for the whole structure to work. They should be as accurate as possible so that the entire 3D grid was stable. It was about right triangles and squares, the basic shapes. While doing this activity, they worked with geometry, but they also tested material strength, and how shape and symmetry helps for balance and structural stability.
In the end, they put the two pyramids together and we tried to make an even bigger one!