SDW17 - Category3

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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Diskusní fórum (cat3)

Share your classroom ideas here

Robert Baldursson, modified 7 Roky ago.

Share your classroom ideas here

Community member Příspěvků: 33 Datum vstoupení: 11.5.15 Poslední zprávy
Use this thread to share your classroom ideas inspired by the Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. Looking forward to hearing your ideas!

Stella Magid, modified 7 Roky ago.

RE: Share your classroom ideas here

Community member Příspěvků: 3 Datum vstoupení: 5.9.13 Poslední zprávy
I am Stella from Israel
I am a Scientix ambassador in my country. Here is my suggestiom for learning unit.
A learning unit on : Science and Ethical dilemmas – Looking at the present from the future.
This learning unit is comprised of five lessons. The first lesson includes using generic techniques for teaching through books. The other four are based on content from Ender Game.
Participants: Science students from middle and high schools.
Unit goals in the scientific field:
  • Students will learn to discern "pure" science from science fiction.
  • Students will revisit the previously learned topic of gravity.
  • Student will revisit the previously learned environmental subject of: the importance of water in our life.
General pedagogical goals:
  • The students will discuss ethical dilemmas.
  • General skills development: critical thinking, decision making…..
  • Students will practice working in  a team.
  • Some students will practice functioning as a leader.
  • Student will employ several intelligences (according to Gardner's multiple intelligences theory).
First lesson
Subject: introduction to Ender's game using the "jigsaw pedagogical system".
Preliminary activities:
  • The class will be divided into pairs which will be assigned to read one or more of the book's fifteen chapter's and make a short summary of what they had read.
  • The assignment will be given at least a week prior to the first class.
Class content:
  • The class will be divided into two groups while each group will consist of a member of each the pairs.
  • Each group member will need to present to his teammates the summary he had written thus exposing them to the content they had not read. In the end of the activity all the students will have been exposed to the book's entire plot.
Second lesson (two academic hours)
  • Each team will vote for a leader.
  • Group task: a creative presentation for the book's story. The group will pick one scene from the book and will present it in a creative way, such as: a song, a drawing, a short play, a short film etc. (based on Gardner's multiple intelligences theory).
The first hour of the class will be dedicated to preparing the presentations and in the second the groups will present their work to a jury of the school's teachers who will vote to pick the winning group.
  • Towards the end of the lesson the teacher will lead a discussion about the importance of teamwork in school and beyond. Additionally a short discussion will be held about the required qualities of a leader (based on what was read in the book and their experience in the class assignment.
Third lesson (one academic hour)
Scientific topic: physics – gravity
This class will focus on discerning science fiction from "pure" science (the work will be done in pairs).
  • Students will look up references to gravity in the book (both direct and implied).
  • Students will have to determine which elements are real science and which are science fiction. Students will be asked to explain their decision. Using external data sources during this activity is encouraged.
  • Students will present their findings to the class and an overall discussion will be held.
Fourth class (one academic hour)
Scientific topic: environmental science – the importance of water in our life.
  • Each student will be asked to come up with an answer to: what is the significance of water for sustaining life.
  • Each student will be asked to present examples for conflicts through history that involved disputes over water supplies.
  • The example will be presented to the class which will discuss weather if modern technological advancements in the field of water availability and purification might have prevented the presented conflicts.
Fifth lesson (two academic hours)
First hour
The teacher will present to the class a dilemma that arises from the book: "is genocide justified if you believe it will save your own people". An open discussion will be held on the topic.
Second hour
The class will be divided into 6 groups which will be asked to present am additional dilemma they recognize in the book. The class will then vote to decide which dilemma is most relevant to their lives today.
It is recommended to encourage the students to "take" the dilemmas home with them and discuss them further with their friends and family.
Towards the end of the last lesson the students will be asked to give reflection and feedback on their whole experience through the unit.
Robert Baldursson, modified 7 Roky ago.

RE: Share your classroom ideas here

Community member Příspěvků: 33 Datum vstoupení: 11.5.15 Poslední zprávy
Thank you Stella for a very detailed and structured idea for a lesson game based on the Ender's Game! Have you already tried it in class or are you planning to? We would be interested to know how it worked out.
Stella Magid, modified 7 Roky ago.

RE: Share your classroom ideas here

Community member Příspěvků: 3 Datum vstoupení: 5.9.13 Poslední zprávy
Robert BaldurssonThank you Stella for a very detailed and structured idea for a lesson game based on the Ender's Game! Have you already tried it in class or are you planning to? We would be interested to know how it worked out.

Dear Robert!
I have already tried some of the lessons and I will trry soon others. I tried jicsaw activities where every student read different chapter of the book and then share the summarry with other students. Of corse it is better that everybody read hole book, but if the time is limited, jicsaw activity can be a good solution. I like that this method encourage responsibility skills (students must prepare their summary on time).
Also, i tried the lesson, where students prepare one scence from the book by creative way. Students like this activity. " The sky is the limit", they can be as creative as they want....and their presentation where great.
Aother very important lesson-discussion about genocide. I think its very important lesson. Through this activity students can be exposed to genocide through history .A teacher must lead this discussion with sensitivity.....At the end of the discussion students made a suggestion on how genocide can be prevented in the future......
Best regards!
Mladen Sljivovic, modified 7 Roky ago.

RE: Share your classroom ideas here

Community member Příspěvků: 2 Datum vstoupení: 4.4.17 Poslední zprávy
Hello here is my idea of a workshop RPG  for ender's game.

Problem description:

Preparing students for final exams can be hard and challenging. Most of them are already motivated as final exam is a way of entering college. Recent changes in Serbia’s education defined standards for education for science subjects such as chemistry, physics, biology… However, most teachers still haven’t adopted new ways in their educational methods to help students fully prepare for what awaits them. 

Ender’s game RPG can be use as fun way to discuss new ideas and test your students at same time. It also helps in motivating students. 

At start students are being introduced to a book written by Orson Scott. Teacher says a few words about book and author and then he announces that he will read a part of a book then ask a few questions. At one point he will organize his class in to groups who will compete at certain tasks.FIRST ENCOUNTER WITH CLASSPART 1Teacher reads a part of a book. Class is asked not to take any notes and to just listen. "Andrew, I suppose by now you're just absolutely sick of having that horrid monitor. Well, I have good news for you. That monitor is going to come out today. We're going to just take it right out, andit won't hurt a bit."Ender nodded. It was a lie, of course, that it wouldn't hurt a bit. But since adults always said it when it was going to hurt, he could count on that statement as an accurate prediction of the future. Sometimes lies were more dependable than the truth.The doctor was twisting something at the back of Ender's head. Suddenly a pain stabbed through him like a needle from his neck to his groin. Ender felt his back spasm, and his body arched violently backward; hi head struck the bed. He could feel his legs thrashing, and his hands were clenching each other, wringing each other so tightly that they ached.Teacher now gives assignments.

(For teachers: First set of question is based on correlation between physics and biology, this can be used in every class as all questions are based on school curriculum for physics)

In this section Ender had his monitor removed. Monitor is a device surgically insert in children and used to follow them and record everything they see and hear.  In next few task we will concentrate on such, still imaginary at this time, object.TEACHER CAN CHANGE QUESTIONS AS THEY THINK IT WOULD BE MORE SUITABLE FOR CLASS. I have only given examples of few.Q1Suppose that we can look at signals going true human nerves as one-way electric current. This current is in form of signal with magnitude of 75mV. An electric current needed to be detected is in order of 10e-12 A. How much resistance can monitor have in order to achieve this current? Q2In order to work monitor has to have power source. In this case specially designed source is used and it has been labeled with following 0.5kAh 2V. If maximum current it use is 1E-3 A how many hour can it last before it need to be replaced? If Ender is six at present and monitor has been inserted at his birth will battery last or will it have to be replaced at some time?Q3Thru monitor has ability to record everything Ender see. On this chart (shown at board) we can see sensitivity of human eye to different wavelengths at night and at day. At what wavelength human eye is most sensitive at day? Bonus calculate the frequency of that wavelength.Q4To give Ender even less privacy monitor has ability to record everything he hears. Considering that human can hear from sounds from 20Hz to 20000 Hz (more or less) what is the minimum wavelength of sound monitor can record?BONUS (for those who like to discus ethics as well as science)

Now class can be free to discuss about ethics of using monitors. After they set their opinions explain to them that in this world humans are often attacked by other humans and monitor can be use to protect children. Read them the part right after Ender had his monitor removed.His monitor wasn't perched on his neck, hearing what heard and seeing what he saw. They could say what they liked. They might even hit him now-- no one could see anymore, and so no one would come to Ender's rescue. There were advantages to the monitor, and he would miss them. It was Stilson, of course. He wasn't bigger than most other kids, but he was bigger than Ender. And he had some others with him. He always did. "Hey, Third." Don't answer. Nothing to say. "Hey, Third, we're talkin to you, Third, hey bugger-lover, we're talkin to you."  Can't think of anything to answer. Anything I say will make it worse. So will saying nothing."Hey, Third, hey, turd, you flunked out, huh? Thought you were better than us, but you lost your little birdie, Thirdie, got a bandaid on your neck." "Are you going to let me through?" Ender asked. "Are we going to let him through? Should we let him through?" They all laughed. "Sure we'll let you through. First we'll let your arm through, then your butt through, then maybe a piece of your knee." Discus with class now about using monitors. Explain to them that in this future world an alien race of insects attacked humans and now after many years people have changed society rules in other to create better soldiers. Ask if they knew any other way technology changed society.PART 2 This part is again based on same scenarios. Teacher reads a part of book and then asks a question based on that. (For teachers: this part is set on gravity and free fall. It will also be used to check how well did students understood First Newton’s law, as well how well do they read charts) In this part we will find that Ender is on his way to Battle school. Him and other boys are currently on space shuttle waiting for launch…The other boys were belted in place, those who hadn't done as Ender did. Then they waited for an hour while a TV at the front of the shuttle introduced them to shuttle flight, the history of space flight, and their possible future with the great starships of the IF. Very boring stuff. Ender had seen such films before. Except that he had not been belted into a seat inside the shuttle. Hanging upside down from the belly of Earth. The launch wasn't bad. A little scary. Some jolting, a few moments of panic that this might be the first failed launch in the history of the shuttle. The movies hadn't made it plain how much violence you could experience, lying on your back in a soft chair. Then it was over, and he really was hanging by the straps, no gravity anywhere.

Q1When launching a spaceship in order to get speed shuttle will accelerate with rate of 10m/s2 . During the lunch will mass of Ender be

  • Twice as normal
  • Same
  • Zero
  • None of the above
Mass has not changed but weight (amount of force he is pushing his seat) did.  How did weight changed
  • Twice as normal
  • Same
  • Zero
  • None of the above
"Most of you are going to ice out. Get used to that, little boys. Most of you are going to end up in Combat School, because you don't have the brains to handle deep-space piloting. Most of you aren't worth the price of bringing you up here to Battle School because you don't have what it takes. Some of you might make it. Some of you might be wotth something to humanity. But don't bet on it. I'm betting on only one."
Suddenly Graff did a backflip and caught the ladder with his hands, then swung his feet away from the ladder. Doing a handstand, if the floor was down. Dangling by his hands, if the floor was up. Hand over hand he swung himself back along the aisle to his seat.
 "Looks like you've got it made here," whispered the boy next to him.
 Ender shook his head.
"Oh, won't even talk to me?" the boy said.
"I didn't ask him to say that stuff," Ender whispered. He felt a sharp pain on the top of his head. Then again. Some giggles from behind him. The boy in the next seat back must have unfastened his straps. Again a blow to the head. Go away, Ender thought. I didn't do anything to you.
Again a blow to the head. Laughter from the boys. Didn't Graff see this? Wasn't he going to stop it? Another blow. Harder. It really hurt. Where was Graff?
Then it became clear. Graff had deliberately caused it. It was worse than the abuse in the shows. When the sergeant picked on you, the others liked you better. But when the officer prefers you, the others hate you.
"Hey, fart-eater," came the whisper from behind him. He was hit in the head again. "Do you like this? Hey, super-brain, this is fun?" Another blow, this one so hard that Ender cried out softly with the pain.
While being atacked by other students Ender had to defend himself. At one point he grabed a boy who was about to hit him and trow him  with all force. Since there was no gravity boy flew with high sped and broke his arm. Next couple of question we will use to duscuss a non weight state.

While on Earth gravity surround us. We are used to it. However, people do want to feel weightless state. Imagine we are standing in giant elevator. In which way and by how much would he need to accelerate in order for us to feel weightless state

In Q4 we had not very safe way to experience zero gravity. Here is a safer. Now imagine a plane who orbiting around Earth at 10km. How fast does it have to go in order for us to feel zero gravity?
It would be cool to have such a fast plane, but for now we have to use something called parabolic flights. Here are some videos of what happens in such a plane, and here is trajectory of one plain. Can you explain how does parabolic flights work?
Now we are off to space. However, gravity is still following us, weaker yes but not at zero. Given mass of Earth, her radius and gravitational constant can you calculate free fall acceleration at height equivalent to Earth’s radius?

Suppose alien race leave on planet which is twice the size of earth and has 3 times bigger mass. Would gravity for them
  • stronger
  • weaker
  • same
  • depends on their mass
Ender is only six but on Earth he can use his muscles to throw a rock weighting 5kg. If he uses same force on boy that attack him what acceleration will other boy have if he has a mass of 40kg.

Draw a graph describing change of speed if a rock is thrown with 10m/s in downward direction on Earth. Disregard air resistance

Draw a graph describing change of speed if a rock is thrown with 10m/s in any direction at zero gravity. Disregard air resistance.
In real life we cannot disregard air resistance.  Which of this graph describes speed over time of a ball falling on earth?
(teacher has to prepare this in advance)

If we were to consider air resistance in zero gravity would terminal velocity of a ball (speed after very long time) be greater in zero gravity or on Earth?  Which of this graph describes speed over time of a ball falling in zero gravity?

Same as before teacher reads from a book. He has to explain that now we are watching Ender as he is trained to be a soldier in specially designed arena with zero gravity.
Ender is now training to be a soldier. We will now listen about two of his newly discovered things.
Ender took his pistol and demonstrated what he had learned about the two thumb buttons. "What does it do when you aim at a person?" asked Alai. "I don't know." "Why don't we find out?" Ender shook his head. "We might hurt somebody." "I meant why don't we shoot each other in the foot or something. I'm not Bernard, I never tortured cats for fun." "Oh." "It can't be too dangerous, or they wouldn't give these guns to kids." "We're soldiers now." "Shoot me in the foot." "No, you shoot me." "Let's shoot each other." They did. Immediately Ender felt the leg of the suit grow stiff, immobile at the knee and ankle joints.
Petra was waiting in the corridor that led to the battleroom.
"Wait a minute," she said to Ender. "Rabbit Army just went in, and it takes a few minutes to change to the next battleroom."
Ender sat down beside her.
"There's more to the battleroom than just switching from one to the next," he said. "For instance, why is there gravity in the corridor outside the room, just before we go in?"
As we can see Ender’s light suit is made to show where he has been hit. All the battles between armies will be held at battleroom.  Let’s talk about this room and about pistols use for this game.
As we all know gravity is important for human body to function normally. Many astronauts have been known to have medical issues after a long period at zero G. Imagine all the normal functions you would not be able to do with no gravity and describe them.
One way to create gravity is to rotate space ship. Imagine if space station, in which Ender is currently living, is about 2km in diameter. With what angular speed it should rotate to create acceleration equal to one G?  
As we move to center of this space station does this artificially created gravity raises or decreases?
Now we shall take a look at Ender’s pistol. When part of light suit is hit it freezes.  Suppose that pistol use light as a way to signalize this. If Ender shoot at his target 500m away , and as a result of hit bell rungs, how much time will pass until Ender hear the sound?
To freeze suit signal has to be of minimum intensity I. Once it leaves pistol signal has 2cm in dimeter and is spreading 1mm every 50 meters. Calculate maximum distance Ender can shoot at his target given that signal has intensity 2P at start. How much would distance change if intensity at start would be 4I?

Space shis is moving in zero gravity with constant speed. At point A space ship is turning on his rockets . Which of folowing trajectories is posible?


At this point teacher reads from book about ender becoming a comander of his own army.

At the end of the week Dragon Army had fought seven battles in seven days. The score stood 7 wins and 0 losses. Ender had never had more losses than in the battle with Phoenix Army, and in two battles he had suffered not one soldier frozen or disabled. No one believed anymore that it was a fluke that put him first in the standings. He had beaten top armies by unheard-of margins. It was no longer possible for the other commanders to ignore him. A few of them sat with him at every meal, carefully trying to learn from him how he had defeated his most recent opponents. He told them freely, confident that few of them would know how to train their soldiers and their toon leaders to duplicate what his could do. And while Ender talked with a few commanders, much larger groups gathered around the opponents Ender had defeated, trying to find out how Ender might be beaten. There were many who who hated him. Hated him for being young, for being excellent, for having made their victories look paltry and weak

Now teacher divides hiss class in to 4 to 5 studnets army. number of armies depends form siye of class. it should ne boticed here that when working in pairs it has been proven that best practice is to team up more advance studnets with less advanced one. That way learning expirience has highest eficiency. EACH ARMY MEMBER HAS A NUMBER FROM 1 to 5.

Teacher explains to them that now each army  has a homwork. Comanders have to give task to their soldiers to create as much questions as possible. All question have to be from class program, and in form of test questions. In next seasion armies will be set to pairs and compete with thees rules.
1. First army asks a question. memebers of opiste team answer in order from 1 to 5
2. Person who was asked has a right to  consulate with his teammates and then answers. LEader of a team has a right to choose to answer a question himself and save his team member but before consultations.  
3. If answer is corect team wins 2 points,  if consulted only 1.
4. If team answers wrongly first army has to explain answer . In case that they fail to do so first army looses 2 points.
5. Proces is repeated for second army after which round is over.
6. Rounds are reapting untill by the end of round one team has 10 points. in case both team have 10 points game is countinued untill one team by the end of round has one point more then oposite.
7. At each time team can call for teacher as judge.
8. Teacher can give one negative point to team if he judges that question was unfair or passes over class level (For example teams gives a problem from state championship in physics which is considered as faul play)


Game is played. At this time teacher monitors and looks what parts of subjects his students did not understand... As a help teacher can provide to his students test from final exams, PISA, and one more of mz favorite books PEAR TEACHING by Eric  Mazur
Maria Melniciuc, modified 7 Roky ago.

RE: Share your classroom ideas here

Community member Příspěvků: 6 Datum vstoupení: 12.12.16 Poslední zprávy
I love Ender'S Game book and I reread it after 20 years.
1-What is imponderability?
The students will watch parts of the Ender’s game movie about imponderability 
What is imponderability?  Fun in space and life on international space stations
Some other video resources
Imponderable  In physics, a thing which has no weight: a term formerly applied to heat, light, electricity, and magnetism, on the supposition that they were material substances, and still used of the hypothetical universal medium, ether.

Activity 2
Create a multiplayer game to fight with your spaceships against the enemie! 
Depending on students age different software may be used: Scratch and Alice for the little ones, Unity for those who know to code and want to create their own characters, objects and backgrounds.
The students will create their own games and test with the other colleagues.
Activity 3
Bullying at school
The students will read chapters 1 and 5 from Ender's Game book.There are a lot of agressive behaviors in the book and Ender is a 6 old year boy and he must be tough.
I think the students will identify those behaviors and we could discuss about bullying in our school, how to limit it and how to get help with. 

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.