They are called chinampas and for the Aztecs it was the most efficient form of gardening.
They would build floating structures and put them on shallow lakes or marshes. These small, stationary, artificial islands were vital to the existence of their society.
This week at Durand Eastman students got to try their hand at making their own version of them. Using materials like Styrofoam, corks and toothpicks they constructed chinampas using any design they thought would be most effective. Since they weren't able to grow their own produce, the only way to measure success was to check for buoyancy.
After seeing which ones would float on their own they added weights one at a time to test them.
Students then had to write a reflection piece on why they thought their structure was able to stay high and dry or left them feeling all wet.