Mummy Makers Thrill Sixth Graders

Standing in front of a live camera this young man gets his questions answered and gets to see how it’s done at the same time.
Standing in front of a live camera this young man gets his questions answered and gets to see how it’s done at the same time.
Mr. Ulysses Penn, in the horizontal position, gets a proper introduction to the Silas Wood students from UPenn Educators Kristina (left) and Julia (right).
Mr. Ulysses Penn, in the horizontal position, gets a proper introduction to the Silas Wood students from UPenn Educators Kristina (left) and Julia (right).
Sixth grader Gabrielle Girard talks with museum educators about what exactly goes into the canopic jars.
Sixth grader Gabrielle Girard talks with museum educators about what exactly goes into the canopic jars.
UPenn Educators Kristina and Julia (in character) enjoy live Mummy Makers presentations, which incorporates both math and science, along with the study of ancient history.
UPenn Educators Kristina and Julia (in character) enjoy live Mummy Makers presentations, which incorporates both math and science, along with the study of ancient history.
Distance Learning programs, like the Mummy Makers, are video conferenced in a Museum gallery with an interactive video displayed at Silas Wood.
Distance Learning programs, like the Mummy Makers, are video conferenced in a Museum gallery with an interactive video displayed at Silas Wood.

Silas Wood sixth graders participated in an exciting program that utilized district grant money, new-age technology, and nonprofit partnerships to bring some really exciting curriculum material to life. The virtual Mummy Makers program brought special discovery to our district’s sixth-grade students. This unique opportunity, co-sponsored by the PTA Cultural Arts Committee, gave the Silas Wood social studies classes the opportunity to witness the making of a mummy. The children watched as ancient Egyptian embalmers (educators from the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Philadelphia) prepared Mr. Ulysses Penn for his journey to the afterlife!

Using fabricated, lifelike mummies, students explored mummification as they witnessed each step of the process. The interactive program allowed the students, who are studying ancient cultures in class, to ask and answer questions throughout. “I thought this program was a great way to bring the curriculum to life,” said Claudia Abbondondolo, a teacher at the Sixth Grade Center. “It fit wonderfully into our unit on Ancient Egypt.” Students from Ms. Abbondondolo’s class were equally impressed with the interactive experience noting that it was "totally awesome" and "cool.”

The Mummy Makers program with the University of Pennsylvania is just another example of the creativity that is possible through new partnerships that support our schools!