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, modificato 7 Anni fa.

Share your classroom ideas here

Community member Messaggi: 33 Data di Iscrizione: 11/05/15 Messaggi Recenti
Use this thread to share your classroom ideas inspired by I, Robot by Isaac Asimov. Looking forward to hearing your ideas!
Maria Teresa de Paiva, modificato 7 Anni fa.

RE: Share your classroom ideas here

Community member Messaggi: 6 Data di Iscrizione: 20/04/17 Messaggi Recenti
FreedomOh what a pleasure
Not fulfill a duty,
Having a book to read
And not doing it!
To read is a bore,
To study is nothing.
The sun shines
Without literature
The river flows, good or bad,
Without original edition.
And the breeze, that one,
Is so naturally matutinal,
As time has no hurry...

Books are papers painted with ink.
To study is a thing that is indistinct
The distinction between anything and nothing.

So much better, as there is fog,
To wait for King Sebastian,
Whether he comes or not!

Great is poetry, the kindness and the dances...
But the world's best are the children,

Flowers, music, the moonlight and the sun, who sins
Only when, instead of creating, dries.

More than that
It is Jesus Christ,
Who knew nothing about finance
And there is no evidence that he had a library...

Fernando Pessoa, in 'Songbook' 
(Copy from
Before writing this post, I thought I had to speak about Pessoa, my favorite Portuguese Poet: so lucky me – The Poem Liberty, talks about the freedom of having a book to read and just don’t do it, and about children! (And much, much more…). So, I couldn’t finish to read “I, Robot!”, from Asimov, (a little bit because I was lazy J!), but what I read, the first 4 Chapters, are enough to see it’s a great book for my youngest students, who are still a little bit children (like all of us!).
I have to confess the English version of the book, I bought last Wednesday,  was not very easy to read for me, in a rapid way, so I had to take, to be fast, a PDF document, translated to Portuguese by a Brazilian (
As Literature is about language, I have to say that the written Portuguese, is very different, in Portugal and Brazil (I prefer the European written Portuguese…). The spoken Portuguese, is also very different (as all foreigners can hearemoticon!), but, for me, Portuguese from Brazil is the most beautiful spoken language, it has so much musicality that Brazilian songs, written by great Brazilian Poets, can’t be unknown! (Our Portuguese Fado is very nice too!)
One of the activities I propose, for “I, robot!”, is precisely based on a video clip of Chico Buarque, a Brazilian singer (writer and composer!)  of Freedom – João e Maria (“Hansel and Gretel”, a possible translation…). You can see, please, the video clip here and an English translation of the lyrics here . It’s a “Love Song”, but it’s written in “Childish Language”. It starts with “Now, I was the hero…”, a typical expression children use when they play pretending they are someone else…
So, the first  Project Activity I propose would start with the reading of one chapter of “I, robot”, in Portuguese Language, or English (students could practice their English…), exploited in the lessons of the Portuguese or English by the Language Teachers (“I, robot!” is included in our “National Plan of Reading”, to improve reading habits in our students). In Science Classes (namely Physics and Chemistry) students would exploit the scientific references of the story: for example, the text, from “Runaround” Chapter - “The robots started off, the regular thudding of their footsteps silent in the airlessness, for the nonmetallic fabric of the insosuits did not transmit sound. There was only a rhythmic vibration just below the border of actual hearing.” – it´s amazing to exploit a lot of acoustic concepts … And the book is full of other physics (astronomy) and chemistry references... Finally, with the help of Computer and Art Teachers, students would do a video clip, telling the story of the chapter they exploited, relating it, of course, with a scientific subject… To motivate for the “I, robot video clip”, students could get inspired too in “One Minute Physics” little “movies” – See, for example, this one “Guns in space” – not a one minute one, but very interesting when we talk about “I, robot”!

The other activity I propose, and I’ll try to do it with my 8 th grade students next time, it’s to use Lego Robots, to exploit Optics: “How Does a Robot see”, is the name I choose for the activity. To get motivated for robotics, students are invited to read the book, and, or, see the movie based on it (,_Robot_(film) ) and after, they will do a little program for the Lego Robot to move, based on color sensors. In fact, I already asked some students to see the movie (they haven’t heard about it, but they get enthusiastic to watch it at home…), to try to involve them to start programing with Lego Robots. With this activity, I would like to initiate students (and me J!) in Programming and make them learn a little bit more about the physics of color sensors…
I tried to see the “I, robotics” movie myself and it was not available at my “home video club”, but, what I read of the Asimov Book was already enough to understand that it has a lot of potentiality to develop SETAM educational activities. As a Physics Teacher, I consider the 3 Asimov Laws of robotics, can be compared with the 3 Newton Laws, in a scientific way as they include, in my humble opinion, the bases of Programming Languages, as Newton Laws determine the Mechanics of robots… But, maybe more important, they can be exploited in an humanistic way to discuss our fictional existences, as our, great Poet, Fernando Pessoa, does with is heteronymous…  As Fernando Pessoa was a bilingual poet (he lived part of his childhood in South Africa) I finish my post with an English Poem:
How Many Masks Wear WeHow many masks wear we, and undermasks,
Upon our countenance of soul, and when,
If for self-sport the soul itself unmasks,
Knows it the last mask off and the face plain?
The true mask feels no inside to the mask
But looks out of the mask by co-masked eyes.
Whatever consciousness begins the task
The task's accepted use to sleepness ties.
Like a child frighted by its mirrored faces,
Our souls, that children are, being thought-losing,
Foist otherness upon their seen grimaces
And get a whole world on their forgot causing;
And, when a thought would unmask our soul's masking,
Itself goes not unmasked to the unmasking.

Fernando Pessoa, in 'English Poetry - 35 sonnets' 
Maria Melniciuc, modificato 7 Anni fa.

RE: Share your classroom ideas here

Community member Messaggi: 6 Data di Iscrizione: 12/12/16 Messaggi Recenti
Activity 1 (6 hours)
The students will work in groups  of 3 on the next topics
-Robots: early beginnings
-Robots in the 19 th century
-Robots in the 20 th century
-Robots nowadays
-Robots in the space
-Industrial robots
-Humanoid robots
-Robots in literature
-Robots in movies

Each group will make researches on the topic and will create a Padlet which will contain different informations including  the documents and presentations they created, videos and links for this subjects. Posters and infographics will be created too. For better results in collaboration the students will use GoogleDocs.The groups will present their work in front of the classroom.Each group will create a quiz in Google Forms and all the students will answer the questions . The teacher will create an evaluation form and each group will be grading others  groups  work.

Activity 2 (2 hours)

Starting from the 3 laws of robotics formulated by Asimov and the Tedex video  students will debate about the future of robots and if we should be afraid by robots evolution.

Practical activity (12 hours)
The students will create a robotic hand  using the Microsoft  Education lesson plan!1171&ithint=onenote%2c&app=OneNote&authkey=!AByHJXUeyR8LDRM . We have the list with the materials needed ,too ( .

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.