Google Earth Voyager Story: The Mathematics of Pyramids, Part 2

You've learned about the basic structure of a pyramid and the examples you saw were smooth square pyramids. When we look at Mayan pyramids, we're looking at stair-step pyramids with square or rectangular bases. To see the Google Earth version of this lesson go to this link  (best viewed in Chrome).


In this lesson we'll be looking at sequences and graphs of exponential functions.

1. The Mayan Temple of the Inscriptions

Watch this video to learn about the geometry of the Mayan pyramid called "The Temple of the Inscriptions."

The key idea is to become familiar with summation notation, using the symbol sigma. If you need a refresher on sequences and series, click on this link.


2. Geometric Sequences and Pyramids

For this activity, use a TI-Nspire to calculate the sum of a sequence of terms. You'll also be graphing an associated exponential function.

3. The Mayan Pyramid of Chichen Itza

We continue our exploration of pyramids by studying the Mayan pyramid of Chichen Itza.

4. Modeling Chichen Itza on the TI-Nspire

For this activity, use the TI-Nspire to model the structure of Chichen Itza.

5. Mayan Pyramids and Mayan Math

In this video we look at how the Mayans used math and how this affected how they looked at the universe.