A 2200-Year Old Inquiry-Based, Hands-On Experiment in Today’s Science Classrooms

S. Sotiriou, F. X. Bogner


The ancient Eratosthenes experiment concerning the earth’s circumference offers the opportunity of an inquiry-basedrevival in today’s science classrooms: A multinational European science education initiative (acronym: OSR)introduced this experiment as a hands-on basis to extract the required variables and to exchange results withclassroom peers across two continents, including Finland in the North, via Poland and Serbia to Greece and Egypt inthe South. The aims behind focused on typical science requirements in classroom approaches such as measurementspreads of scores, translation of one score into its context as well as to solve a complex scientific question withsimple hands-on results when unveiling nature’s hidden principles. Within the scope of this present study, 2180students from 89 schools in 5 different countries (Finland, Poland, Serbia, Greece, Egypt) completed theEratosthenes experiment on the same day. Working groups of up to four students collected the measurement scoreswithin their school sites which by selection covered about 30 degrees of latitude. The analyses clearly show moreaccuracy in the scores as more distant the measurement sites are located (within Greece: 17.6% error; Greece –Finland: 1.3% error). Recommendations for school implementations as well as its potential in experimental scienceclassrooms are discussed in detail.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/wje.v5n2p52

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World Journal of Education
ISSN 1925-0746(Print)  ISSN 1925-0754(Online)

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