Workshop: Science of Survival

In today's world, we're used to modern conveniences such as running water, flushing toilets and lights that turn on with the flick of a switch. But humans haven't always had such luxuries. Explore primitive technology as you learn how early humans survived. Practice critical thinking and problem solving skills as you create a plan for surviving a natural disaster.

Major Concepts to Be Explored: 

  • How did early humans survive without modern technology?
  • How do other cultures survive without indoor plumbing and electricity?
  • What would your plan of action be if the civilized world ended?
  • How would you build a survival shelter at different times of the year?
  • What plentiful man-made materials can you use to make necessary survival tools?

Essential Standards: 

6.P.3.1, 6.E.1.1, 8.L.1.1, 8.L.3

21st Century Skills:

Participants will be able to: 

  • Communicate by sharing thoughts, questions, ideas, and solutions 

  • Collaborate by working together to reach a goal – putting talent, expertise, and smarts to work 

  • Think critically by looking at problems in a new way and linking learning across subjects and disciplines 

  • Create, innovate, and invent by trying new approaches when presented with a challenge 

 Goals of the Workshop:

  • To introduce survival technologies to the students involving mathematic principles and physics

  • To expose the students to areas of study such as anthropology and experimental archaeology

  • To learn about other cultures and how they are able to survive without modern technology

  • To teach the students the importance of being prepared for natural disasters

  • To question the wasteful practices of our society and how that affects the Earth 

Workshop Objectives:

Participants will be able to: 

  • Explain the five basic needs all organisms must have to survive. 
  • Reuse certain materials in a survivalist manner thereby changing their idea of necessity.
  • Understand the importance of staying calm in an emergency. 
  • Think critically to assess surprise situations and develop a plan of action.
  • Work as a group to accomplish a common goal.

Methods and Activities: 

  • Students will assemble a bottle stripper to make their own multipurpose string/cordage.
  • Students will make their own “plarn” (yarn made from plastic bags.) 
  • Students will work in a group to construct a shelter out of materials (tarp, wooden dowels, etc.)
  • Students will manufacture a compass and sundial. 
  • Students will take a close look at one of the most important supplies – water. 
  • Students will decide what to pack for their “end of the civilized world” scenario.

Key Vocabulary: 

 Apocalypse, Survival, Anthropology, Experimental Archaeology, Technology, Culture

Set-up Requirements: 

  • Preference is inside location with six tables for stations and a separate area (floor ok) for students to sit during introduction
  • Teaching/presentation space must be accessible via wheeled cart.
  • Access to electricity
  • A screen or blank wall for projected materials.
  • Approximate set-up and clean-up time – 45 minutes before and after program. 
  • Program will need to remain set up and secured from students for the entire day if multiple programs are booked. 
  • Secure storage location for materials if left overnight. 


Call to Book

704.372.6261 x300
  • Grades 6 - 8
  • Duration: 6 one-hour sessions
  • call for pricing
  • maximum 25 students

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