Lesson 20.8: Social Studies Connection

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Secrets of the Great Pyramid

The Great Pyramid towers over the desert in Egypt. It was built about 4,500 years ago in the city of Giza, in Egypt. Pyramids were built as burial places for the pharaohs, or kings, of ancient Egypt. The Great Pyramid was built to be 481 feet high, and is the largest of three pyramids at Giza. It is where the pharaoh Khufu was buried.

Hidden deep inside the Great Pyramid is a room with a mysterious door. The door could never be opened. Recently, scientists used a robot to break through it.

Many pharaohs were buried with their treasures. To keep thieves from finding the treasures, hidden rooms were built in the pyramids. No one knows what happened to Khufu's body or if he was buried with treasures. Perhaps the answer is behind a mysterious door inside the Great Pyramid.

What Is Behind the Door?

The passage that leads to the door is too small for a person to fit through. Last year, scientists sent a small robot into the narrow passage. The scientists controlled the robot's movements.

The robot drilled a hole through the thick stone door. The robot's camera showed a room on the other side of the door. The room looked empty, except for another door.

The scientists were disappointed they did not find something in the room. Now they want to know what is hidden behind the second door. There may be something amazing behind that door. There may be nothing there at all.

Scientists hope to return to the Pyramid to solve the mystery. Until then, people will have to wonder what is hidden behind door number two.

Building the Great Pyramid

The Great Pyramid was made up of more than 2 million blocks of stone. Each stone weighs an average of nearly 3 tons. Some experts say it took 100,000 people 20 years to build the Great Pyramid.

Word Wise

burial place:
Place where a dead person or animal is buried: When the goldfish died, the children made the yard its burial place.

Hard to understand or explain: A mysterious sound seems to be coming from the garage.

Machine that does things that people usually do: Some robots look like people.

Not wide: Only one person at a time can fit on the narrow path along the river.

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Design a robot.

You have read that scientists used a robot to get through a passage that no person could fit through. Suppose you had a robot. What could you use it to do that you already do? What could you use it to do that you cannot do?

Think about what a robot of your own would look like.

  • Draw a picture of your robot.
  • Write a paragraph about your robot. Tell how it works and what you would have it do.

Data Hunt

“What is behind doors number 1, 2, and 3?”

That was the question asked every week on a popular TV game show. Whoever played the game had to pick one door—1, 2, or 3—in hopes of finding a prize. Everyone knew that the real prize was hidden behind just one of the doors. Behind the other 2 doors were gag prizes, like chickens or flat tires.

The circle graph shows the kinds of prizes won by 24 players.

Circle graph with sectors divided into 4 parts :one-half New Car one-sixth Vacation one-twelfth New Boat?  Gag Prize
  1. How many of the 24 players won a new car?
  2. What fraction of the 24 players did not win a vacation? How many players was that?
  3. What fraction of the players won a gag prize? Write your answer in simplified form.