World Empires of 1500 Project

Mughal: [L to R}: Ajah Fink, Adam Porter, Jake Petrosky, and Jenna Bromley with 

their interpretation of the Taj Mahal of the Mughal Empire.


Onekama Students Create Interactive History Museum


The year is 1500. Across the globe are various wonders of human achievement: Machu Picchu, the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal, the Horyu-Ji Pagoda of Japan, Suleiman’s Mosque, the Tomb of Askia, and the Aztec pyramids. 


On Monday, June 6, the Media Center of Onekama School hosted interpretations of these sites as never seen before – in models made entirely of straws, tape, and recyclables. Onekama Elementary students were invited to tour an exhibit created by the seventh grade, titled “World Empires of 1500.”


As a final project for seventh grade social studies, students were divided into seven groups. Each group researched one of the major empires of the world in the year 1500. After writing and presenting a report to their classmates, students were ready to take on the role of builders as they created models of the major monument of their assigned empire.


The final step was to create an exhibit to teach younger students about these empires. On Monday, seven stations were set up in the school’s media center. Elementary teachers were invited to take their classes through the exhibits. At each station, students spoke to guests about the empire’s location, achievements, and monuments.


“It was more challenging than I thought to try to build a pagoda out of straws, but we worked together as a team and I think it turned out great,“ said seventh grader Cyerah Sielski.


“It was a great way to end the year,” added Autumn Evans, “and the elementary students were excited to see what we created.”

The second and third grades tour the exhibits 
presented by the seventh grade students.

First grade students learn about life in Tokugawa, 
Japan, from the seventh grade