23 April is recognised as the World Book and Copyright Day by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). On 4 April 2017, Scientix published eight great science books selected by its Scientix Ambassadors to give you the opportunity to read some or all of them before the World Book Day. Save the date and join us on this occasion to celebrate great literature in the field of science!

Click on one of the buttons to see the two selected books per subject.

For the STEM Discovery Week 24 to 30 April 2017, teachers are invited to participate in a discussion in an open forum here about the selected books and share ideas on how they can be used in science lessons. Scientix will award the best ideas shared with this community.

The goal of the competition is twofold:

  • To raise general awareness about science and scientific literacy through a community based approach and peer-reviewed exchange of information.
  • To show how scientific literature can improve classroom discussions and activities.

You are welcome to use the forum here to introduce yourself and to get to know other colleagues interested in science literature. Scientix will use the discussion forum to inform you as soon as new discussion threads are added on 23 April. You will receive a notification by e-mail if you introduce yourself in the discussion thread.

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5. Applied Minds: How Engineers Think

Share your classroom ideas here

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Share your classroom ideas here
23.04.17 07:53
Use this thread to discuss your classroom ideas inspired by Applied Minds: How Engineers Think by Guru Madhavan. Looking forward to hearing your ideas!
+6 (6 Гласове)

RE: Share your classroom ideas here
26.04.17 15:45 като отговор на Robert Baldursson.
Ideal book for direct use in the classroom, using the method'story telling''
Malena, Bulgaria
0 (0 Гласове)

RE: Share your classroom ideas here
26.04.17 22:32 като отговор на Robert Baldursson.
Students often ask me: "Why should we learn Math? It is so difficult – in what way will these complex formulas and tasks serve me to? Once I said to them- "Well, because if you're good at mathematics, you can become engineers, when you grow up  and create new appliances, machines, cars and whatever you choose. You will see a concrete result of your work. If you are consistent in the way you study at school, you can create a product to be proud of. "

Then one of them said - "yes, but being an engineer does not always look exciting,  I probably will not be able to do it - I cannot think so specifically and I'm not consistent enough to succeed. Engineers are boring, they do not know how to have fun. "
So I started considering deeply  how to motivate my students to study physics and mathematics, how to show them the benefits of studying science at school in the best way there is. The book –Applied minds: how engineers think, by Guru  Madhavan,  is a wonderful respond to this question.  It  is my assistant to interpret to the students into their own language, the complexity of the profession of engineer. In this book I can find many examples, anecdotes and stories that are motivating and inspirational for the students.
I shall begin my next lesson in Mathematics will by writing the name of Alfred Hitchcock on the board. This will definitely be a surprise because usually I write Math problems on the board. Hitchcock is popular as a filmmaker with his films - psych trailers, but only few people know the fact he has studied at an engineering school and worked as a draftsman. I will use the story related to Mr. Hitchcock, which is described in the book, for  to provoke the students’ interest  and discuss on the usefulness of developing our thinking skills, towards seeking solutions and transforming problems into opportunities.
The book is a pleasant surprise. My initial expectation was that I would understand how the engineers really think. It turned out that the book does not contain psychological explanations of how their brain works. The book gives something different - many ideas for the practical application of problem solving skills, critical thinking and information structuring. 
+1 (1 Гласуване)

RE: Share your classroom ideas here
27.04.17 10:54 като отговор на Silviya Ilieva.
Very good observation! Thanks for sharing your idea for the lesson and how important it is for students to have role models. Your example of Hitchcock is particularly interesting. Did you already try it out in your mathematics class, and if so, how was it received by your students? emoticon Did you find it useful to explain the concept of engineering and problem solving?
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RE: Share your classroom ideas here
28.04.17 10:05 като отговор на Robert Baldursson.
Dear Robert,
Following your comments above, here’s my respond: Yes, I delivered this lesson. A nice and challenging educational situation, both for the students and for myself. When the lesson was over, my students  were eager  asking questions, such as: "When are we going to study again in this particular way - not just with assignments and simply problem solving, but also with stories and films included?"  Some of the students did not know at the moment who exactly was Hitchcock, others have heard of the „Psycho” movie, but really they were enormously  surprised and fascinated by  the fact, that he had studied as an engineer and was engaged in the advertising business.  After delivering that exact lesson, my students  became beautifully  involved, and with much more desire and concentration, in solving the Maths problems, which  we  had in the lesson. We also talked about the importance of been more considered and thoughtful in life,   and whenever possible, asking questions ourselves, even while analysing  specific  situations in our lives: "And is there another way to solve this problem?"
+1 (1 Гласуване)

RE: Share your classroom ideas here
30.04.17 16:56 като отговор на Silviya Ilieva.
Thank you Silviya! emoticon
Yes, it shows how films and popular culture can sometimes be used to increase interest in engineering by building role models. Engineering is to a large extent about solving problems, and movie directors need to be good problem solvers.
0 (0 Гласове)

These are the eight science books selected for the World Book Day and STEM Discovery Week 2017! In order to compete in our competition, start by:

  1. Read one or more of the selected titles
  2. Design an idea for a classroom activity based on your book
  3. Share your idea with peers in the discussion forum above during the STEM Discovery Week 24 to 30 April

Science books


This world famous book in the field of physics explores the origin of our universe, including the Big Bang and black holes, and the relevance of concepts such as space and time and other forces that govern our existence.

Author: Stephen Hawking

Originally published: 1988

Uncle Tungsten was a producer of tungsten-filament lightbulbs who ignited Oliver Sacks’ interest in chemistry, especially chemical reactions and the periodic table. This book is a fascinating story about scientific discoveries and inspiration during childhood.

Author: Oliver Sacks

Originally published: 2001

A brief history of time

Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a chemical boyhood

Technology books

A young boy, who is the outcome of genetic experiments, possesses great tactical skills playing computer games. This may be just what mankind has been waiting for in order to fight back against invasive alien species.

Author: Orson Scott Card

Originally published: 1985

This futuristic science-fiction describes the technical evolution of robots that are originally developed in order to serve humans. However, they eventually become so advanced that humans become obsolete.

Author: Isaac Asimov

Originally published: 1950

Ender's Game

I, Robot

Engineering books

Engineers can see a structure where there is none in place, possessing the ability to turn problems into solutions and solutions. This book collects narratives and case studies to show how engineering is used to innovate, standardise and optimise.

Author: Guru Madhavan

Originally published: 2015

This book is a collection of 25 entertaining experiments and activities in engineering in everyday situations, including step-by-step instructions, expected results of each activity and simple scientific background for each experiment.

Author: Janice VanCleave

Originally published: 2007

Applied minds: How engineers think

Engineering for every kid: Easy activities that make learning science fun

Mathematics books

Robert really dislikes studying maths, but this changes when he meets the Number Devil, who appears in Robert’s dreams to teach him maths and inspire him. With the help of the Number Devil, Robert gets to know fractions, geometry and other mathematic concepts.

Author: Hans Magnus Enzensberger

Originally published: 1997

Mr. Ruche receives a delivery to his house in Paris including a great number of maths books from Brazil. His parrot likes to talk about maths and together they give lessons to children. However, he soon discovers the real reason behind the delivery.

Author: Denis Guedj

Originally published: 1998

The number devil: a mathematical adventure

The Parrot's Theorem

STEM Discovery Week IN NUMBERS

SDW17 Infograph

This infograph demonstrates the main achievements accomplished and outreach during STEM Discovery Week 2017.




‘Make your own Poster’ with your favourite subjects and resources from the Scientix Resources Respository. Read more.


Organise or participate in an event dedicated to any STEM subject and opportunities from 24 to 30 April 2017. Read more.


Share ideas for classroom activities in relation to selected science books and discuss them in an open forum. Read more.