Time for leg workout:
Multiplication is hard, so we will be spending the rest of the week on practicing:
My mom said that using our time at home, she will talk up the stairs the height of each of the Seven Summits. She explained to me that this list includes the tallest mountain on each continent. There are different lists though and there are two mountains that sometimes show up on the list: Puncak Jaya (below) and Mount Blanc in Europe.
Puncak Jaya is the tallest peak of Mount Jayawijaya in Indonesia. It’s 4884 meters (16024 feet) above sea level.
This mountain is on the continent of Australia and Oceania. When people talk about tallest mountain in Australia, they usually talk about Mount Kosciuszko (described below) because they only think of mainland Australia and they forget about Oceania.
The first European to see this mountain was a Dutch explorer named Jan Carstenszoon, but nobody believed him for over 200 years! It’s all because usually it’s hard to see that high up on that island and he talked about seeing snow. People just wouldn’t believe him that there could be snow in area that hot. What they didn’t think of is that the higher you go on a mountain, the colder it gets. That’s how extremely tall mountains, like Puncak Jaya, Kilimanjaro or Mount Everest, which are located in hot parts of the world still can have snow on them.
Fun fact: Jaya means in the local language victory, victorious or glorious.
At 2228 meters (7310 feet), Mount Kosciuszko is a lot shorter than other mountains my mom has been talking about. It’s the tallest mountain of mainland Australia and is part of Snowy Mountains. Not a very creative name for the mountains if you ask me…
My mom always says the name of the mountain differently than pretty much everybody else I know. Apparently except for her Polish family. I asked her why and she was way too excited to explain! So this mountain was discovered by a Polish explorer Pawel Edmund Strzelecki (Polish names are sooo hard to say!) and he named it after famous Polish general Tadeusz Kosciuszko. There is more to the story to that general, including him fighting in the US, but we are talking science here.
Mount Kosciuszko is not only shorter than other mountains on the Seven Summits list, but it’s also easier to climb. I read that until 1977, you could drive your car pretty much all the way to the top! I have a feeling mommy is planning a trip there for the two of us…
Social Science 👩🎓
Christopher Columbus was born in 1451 in Genoa (that’s currently in Italy). He is most famous for his attempt to sail to Asia by sailing west from Europe in 1492. As most of us know, he didn’t get to Asia. Instead, the land he reached was the Bahamas, part of North America.
Columbus didn’t know there would be land between Europe and Asia when you go west. He also thought it would be a lot closer. His ships were small for a trip that long and they didn’t bring enough food and water.
Since all of his voyage was based on Columbus’ guesses and estimates. It meant he had a hard time getting enough money to pay for the trip. He finally convinced queen Isabella I of Castile and her husband, king Ferdinand II of Spain. In return, he promised to bring back gold and gems. It was not as easy as he thought and Columbus’ crew stole anything they could from native people of islands they visited.
Columbus led two more expeditions to America and brought first settlers across the ocean. The reason people use Spanish in South and Central America is because of who paid for the trips – Spain. This meant that soldiers and settlers were Spanish and that’s the language they spoke.
Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama was born in 1469 in Sines, Portugal. Like Columbus, he was looking for the best way to get to China and India from Europe. He was the first European to sail around Africa, passing Cape of Good Hope at the southern edge of the continent. This trip took place in 1498-1499. It was dangerous, both because of sailing and because people who they ran into on land were unfriendly and dangerous.
When da Gama got to India, he and his men were made prisoners in Calicut, a city in India. Eventually, he escaped and went back to Portugal. Three years later, he returned to Calicut. On the way there, he attacked all Indian and Arab ships he came in contact with. When he got to the city, he and soldiers on the ships conquered it. They established Portuguese colony there.
I have never heard of him until mommy insisted that we include him in today’s lesson! And it turns out he was very important to America! My home continent was named after Latin version of his name.
Amerigo Vespucci was born in 1454 in Florence. He was an explorer, navigator and a cartographer (see word of the day for explanation). Like Columbus though, he got money for his trips from a different country than the one he lived in. His voyage was sponsored (meaning paid for) by king of Portugal. When he got to land we now know as Brazil, he realized that it’s part of the New World (that’s what he called the new land) rather than West Indies (as in part of Asia). I am pretty sure that the fact that Portugal paid for his exploration of the New World is why Brazilians speak Portuguese.
Lightning is hotter than the sun.
Word of the day ❗
Cartography – the science or practice of drawing maps.
They say that Great Wall of China is the only building you can see from space. It also shows up in a lot of movies. Mommy found out you can take a tour online: