Summer SAVY 2016 (Session 4PM, Day 9) – Fact and Fiction: The New World
Our penultimate day was filled with maps, maps, and more maps! We first thought more about the purpose of maps, comparing old maps from Medieval Europe and from the Aztec empire, both of which were used not for navigation but for representing religious areas of the empires. We then finished up our work from yesterday, charting on one giant map the routes of all four Spanish conquistadors that explored present-day US territory in the 1500s. We then turned to the main project of the day, creating a flip book of the people and territories of North America. These maps spanned from 20,000 years ago, when humans arrived over a land bridge from Asia, through indigenous cultures up to 1491, then tracked the rise and fall of the Spanish empire from 1492, as it grew until Mexican independence in 1821, up until 1853, when the present-day US-Mexico border was established. The books will be done and ready to show off tomorrow! Finally, we gave some thought to the way maps are made. Since the world is round (as Greeks knew since way before Christopher Columbus), flat maps are projections which sometimes distort distances and landmasses. Many maps we use on a daily basis (such as Google maps) greatly distort the poles, leading us to believe that northern countries are far bigger than they actually are in comparison to southern countries. This mismatch in size can affect the way we view whole continents of people. We are really excited for the open house tomorrow, to show off all we’ve learned. See you then!