Marco Polo & the Rewards of Exploration

Eli Whitney Museum

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Vacation Program

  • Monday, October 12, 2015
  • 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • Designed for ages 6 to 8

Some explore to find treasure, some to conquer, some to trade. Marco Polo is famous for the wonders he observed in his long journey through the Orient. Marco was just 17 when he left Venice in 1271. His travels filled 24 years of his life. He returned with thrilling tales of the arts, inventions, and treasures of China.

Celebrate exploring to learn. Construct a tiny band of travelers and the camels that carried them along the Silk Road. Craft tunics of silk. Experiment with chips of coal. Follow a compass. Print with wood blocks. Learn words in Chinese. Celebrate safely with the ingredients of firecrackers. Make creatures that confused the traveller: a giant serpent or a crocodile? Unicorn or Rhinoceros? Marvel at the inventions of paper money and restaurant, and a high speed pony express that made Europe see, well, in a Dark Age.

Was Marco Polo the first to bring all these treasure to Europe? Not likely. But his tale of wonders teaches us that exploring expands our minds.

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