On March 21, over 150 schools in Romania are participating in the Eratosthenes Experiment! | SIVECO Romania

On March 21, over 150 schools in Romania are participating in the Eratosthenes Experiment!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The event is organized within the European project Inspiring Science Education that SIVECO Romania is partner to and national coordinator as well

This year too, the Research & Development Department Ellinogermaniki Agogi, Greece organizes the Eratosthenes Experiment. The event will take place in the period 16-21 March 2016 within the European project Inspiring Science Education, that SIVECO Romania is partner to and national coordinator as well.

This year, over 700 schools worldwide have announced their participation in the event, out of which more than 150 are from Romania.

Organizing this experiment dedicated to stimulating the pupils’ curiosity during the autumn and spring equinox days has become a tradition. It places the students and their interaction at the core of the research activity, monitoring replication of the way in which the Earth circumference was determined over 2,000 years ago.

The experiment was performed for the first time ever around the date of 240BC, by the Greek mathematician Eratosthenes, who aimed at measuring the Earth circumference with help of the shadow of a one- meter long stick.

What is Eratosthenes experiment?

The first step when performing the experiment consists in determining the exact time of midday (noon) by using the Solar Computer or Stellarium.

For instance, on September 23, 2015, the moment of midday was at 11:20, when the Sun was in transit of the celestial Equator, has risen and set exactly in the East and West cardinal points respectively, while the duration of the day was, irrespective of latitude, equal to the one of the night.

One places a one- meter long stick in a sunny place in the school courtyard and measures its shadow for at least 5 times. The goal is to calculate the value of angle θ, made by the sun rays with the stick.












In the locations found on the same meridian, the Sun’s astronomical longitude reaches the value of 180° at the same time. Therefore, re-enactment of the Eratosthenes Experiment is practiced between schools found on approximately the same longitude and at large distances between them as much as possible, in order to increase the determination’s accuracy.









In the next step, one performs the calculation of the distance between the localities where the shadow is measured.

In case there is no pair school, one can work considering a location with the same longitude placed on the Equator, where the stick shadow is 0 (zero) cm at that moment.

In order to calculate the Earth circumference we will make use of the proportionality between the angle at the circle center and the length of the circular curve that the angle is subtending.

How can schools in Romania participate in the Eratosthenes Experiment?

Registration of a Romanian school for participating in the Eratosthenes Experiment can be done until 20.03.16 here.

In the specially created community on the ISE portal Eratosthenes Community You may find lesson plans promoting Inquiry-based Learning

In the sub-community Eratosthenes Community - Romania there are the versions translated into Romanian of these lesson plans, both for gymnasium and for high school. 

Assessment of pupils’ knowledge, as well as their progress during the experimental activity can be performed by means of questionnaires (pre- questionnaires and post- questionnaires) found here, online and in pdf format, too. În perioada 21-30 martie, profesorii care efectuează experimentul au posibilitatea de a participa la Concursul de lecții online Eratosthenes Online Lesson Contest la care pot câștiga un stagiu la școala de vară ISE Summer Academy 2016 de la Atena.

In the period of 21-30 March, the teachers performing the experiment have the possibility to participate in the Online lessons Competition Eratosthenes Online Lesson Contest where they can win an internship at the summer school ISE Summer Academy 2016, in Athens.

Up to the date of April 10, 2016, the best pictures made during the experiment can be enlisted in the Photographs Contest Eratosthenes Photo Contest

You can find more information at http://eratosthenes.ea.gr/ and http://www.inspiringscience.eu/

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