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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Forum (cat3)

Share your classroom ideas here

Robert Baldursson, modifié il y a 7 années.

Share your classroom ideas here

Community member Publications: 33 Date d'inscription: 11/05/15 Publications Récentes
Use this thread to share your classroom ideas inspired by the Parrot's Theorem by Denis Guedj. Looking forward to hearing your ideas!
Panagiota Argyri, modifié il y a 7 années.

RE: Share your classroom ideas here

Community member Envoyer: 1 Date d'inscription: 09/05/14 Publications Récentes
My name is Panagiota Argyri, I am mathematician to Model High School Evangeliki of Smyrni
(Athens , Greece). I am Scientix ambassador from 2014. I am exciting with this discussion forum. I love challenges based on science literature.
Chapter 3 : Dedicated to Thales.
Playing with shadows for calculate the height of pyramid of Cheops.
Mathematical and Geometrical concepts based on Chapter 3 for teaching Geometry :
Theorem of Thale for parallels lines, similarity of triangles and polygons, equal rates
for analogy ammounts.
An iquiry lesson plan based on chapter 3 :

Using mathematical software Geogebra for activities and exercises based on Chapter 3 Parrot's Theorem

Video reviewing chapter 3 :

(Note : Not only Thales..but also..Eratoshenes playied with shadows for calculate the cirtumance of Earth)

Pièces jointes:

Robert Baldursson, modifié il y a 7 années.

RE: Share your classroom ideas here

Community member Publications: 33 Date d'inscription: 11/05/15 Publications Récentes
Panagiota, thank you so much for sharing your geometry lesson and materials with us. Very cool how you managed to integrate it with the Thales chapter of the Parrot's Theorem emoticon
In the past we had books for the lessons, which was portrayed by the regular book discussions in the Parrot's Theorem, but you also show how technology can nowadays enhance learning experience what used to be more limited in the past.
Konstantinos Manolakis, modifié il y a 7 années.

RE: Share your classroom ideas here

Community member Envoyer: 1 Date d'inscription: 13/12/16 Publications Récentes
Greetings! My name is Konstantinos Manolakis, I am a newly recruited Scientix Ambassador (since March 2017). I am also a teacher and the director at a primary school in Chania, Crete. As I was reading the Parrot’s Theorem, I tried to think up ways of how this book could have pedagogical use as a whole. Additionally, I wanted the whole of the educational community (students, teachers, parents) to become involved in this process, in this way suggesting an alternative approach to the science of Mathematics. In primary school, Math is taught by conveying concepts such as those of numbers, calculations (algorithms), problem solving, geometric issues, etc. as well as any symbols or mental tools we utilize, all these are readily accepted as a fact, “sent from heaven”; we rarely concern ourselves or investigate the origin of their use. We very often ignore the fact that behind these ideas are people who initially introduced them to the field of Mathematics. The editor of the Greek translation of the book, Tefkros Michaelides, very aptly points out: “… the history of mathematics is an inspiration of ideas, problems, devises. It is, however, most importantly a story about people. Enlightened individuals, who through the mist, were able to distinguish the opposite bank and slowly find the passage that led them there” (pg. 709).Moreover, at some point, a heroine of the novel, Lea, surprised by the absence of the equals symbol before 1557, wonders: “Someone was forced to die on the other side of the world when trying to uncover and ascertain where this symbol originated. Why has nobody ever told us these things in the classroom?” Based on all of this, my personal idea is to try and include the history of mathematics in a collaborative project that will run throughout the school year and involve all the grades of the primary school. Amelion- Mamagena, the Amazonian parrot, can become the mascot that will inspire the children, teachers, parents and anyone else who is interested in creating the historical line of mathematics, by exhibiting and bring forward the people who were behind the ideas and symbols. This historical line will be a specially shaped belt that will run through the corridors of the school and will begin from ancient times- all the way to our era. Each class, depending on the chosen subject they will assume, will look into and try to solve a riddle (through some research) within Denis Geudj’s book. For example: Why are fractions considered broken figures? “Al-Khwarizmi accepts only positive, inertial (whole) or fractional numbers. This is where the word ‘fractions’ was coined. The Latin word fractiones is the translation of the Arabic kasser, do you know what kasser means? It means broken! Thus, fractions are broken numbers!” (pg. 309) So, with fractions as a triggering topic the historical line will be enriched with the Arabic contribution to the propagation and development of mathematics. Another example is through teaching the maximum common divisor/ highest common factor: Which numbers are friendly according to Pythagoras? “When he was asked what a friend is, he answered “he who is your other self, such as the numbers 220 and 284”. Two numbers are “friends” or “friendly with each other” when the sum of the numbers that divide the one number equal the sum of the second number (therefore divide).” And so on the occasion of the divisors the reference to Pythagoras will offer new learning possibilities. Depending on the age and the potential of the students, the historical line will have its own dynamic. The young students will create the mascot of the project, the parrot who “knows” math and therefore, the students will be given the opportunity to understand the difference between “holding” knowledge and merely “parroting” that knowledge. The older students will partake in researching and enriching the historical line. Teachers will guide and motivate the students by providing stimuli for exploratory- research learning. Parents will also be able to contribute according to their interests as guests in projects or presentations while working with their children. Finally, the result will be multimodal (text, images, and symbols) collective work and there will be a personal touch from all the participants. It will unite the lessons of mathematics, history and literature!  It would also be highly beneficial to collaborate with other schools, even with older children in high schools and lyceums, through the digital advancement of the historical line. Tools that would be helpful in this endeavor are (,, etc.)
References: Guedj, D. (2010), The Parrot’s Theorem, Kedros (greek edition)
Robert Baldursson, modifié il y a 7 années.

RE: Share your classroom ideas here

Community member Publications: 33 Date d'inscription: 11/05/15 Publications Récentes
Thank you for sharing Konstantinos emoticon
Natalija Budinski, modifié il y a 7 années.

RE: Share your classroom ideas here

Community member Envoyer: 1 Date d'inscription: 04/12/16 Publications Récentes
My name is Natalija Budinski, and I am a math teacher in Primary and secondary school "Petro Kuzmjak" in Ruski Krstur in Serbia. I have become a Scientix ambassador in March 2017. In my opinion STEM is the future of education and I am giving my best to implement it as much as possible to my classes. Also, I am sharing my ideas with colleagues on my blog There is one of the example how could Denis Guedj's  book "Parrot Theorem" be applied in math classes in order to teach students the fundaments of mathematics, and open new frontiers to them, as well.
There is no doubt that Pythagoras and Euclid are two important figures of both, ancient and contemporary mathematics. The book describes many interesting facts about their lives, but also reveals that their teaching was approach similar to STEM principles. In the chapter dedicated to the Pythagoras, students can learn about the connection between fractions and music, or area and space object called lunule. 
The main topic that I would teach my students following the book chapters would be irrational numbers. This real numbers troubled Pythagoras and during his time it was an unexplored topic.  Besides the fact that the hypotenuse of right isosceles triangle is represented with square root of two, not much was known.  The book describes the proof of the fact that the square root is an irrational number in the form of dialog, which is easy to follow and useful in the today classroom.
As the story in book develops, Euclid "tamed" irrational numbers. The Euclid's comprehensive work assembled in thirteen books called "Elements" is still relevant. Basics of Euclid's geometry are part of mathematical curriculums worldwide. Among many concepts that Elements elaborate, they provide the explanation how to find the square root of a number. Even though, Elements are rich well of mathematical concepts, they fail in solving problems such as doubling the cube or trisection of an angle.
Mr Ruche noted in the book: "Consider later three major problems of Greek mathematics, squaring the circle, doubling the cube and angle trisection". And later on, at the end of the book, mr Ruche officially announced that those problems are not solvable with compass and straightedge. That can lead lesson to the process of examining Euclidian geometry limitation.
Inspired by the book, I would tackle students with a question if the doubling the cube or trisection of an angle are really unsolvable? Or maybe there are solutions of three famous problems? The story developed in the book would be an excellent introduction to the contemporary mathematical research which provides the solution for mentioned unsolvable problems. What is more the solutions are elegant and can be followed with the high school- mathematical knowledge. They rely on origami techniques and paper folding. At the end of 20th century, origami was axiomatized which made him a mathematical discipline. What is more, origami axioms and theorems provided the solutions for problems of doubling the cube and angle trisection. That means that construction of third root of two became possible with origami.
On the one hand, Euclid's quotation in the book that "There are not royal road to mathematics", reminds us how sometimes mathematics can be hard, but on the other hand, there are interesting ways to explore mathematics. The "Parrot's theorem" led as through history of mathematics, but also opens the door for new enquires which can provide us with interesting lessons based on contemporary mathematical discoveries. 

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.