Lifelong Learning Programme

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Title of the Experience
Eratosthenes of Cyrene
Name of the teacher
Mª Pilar Serra Salvador
Country where it took place
School typology
High Secondary School
Thematic Area
Experience typology
Teaching in class
Type of contact
Description of the Experience
The main difficulty is the lack of motivation. Many students have a vision of mathematics as a body of knowledge that they will not apply in their professional lives and are unnecessary. They do not see the practical application of theoretical knowledge.
Also many students have difficulties understanding abstract concepts. For many students, math is hard.

Students often have many prejudices about trigonometry. It is a subject they suppose having particular difficulty.
To enter trigonometry, I explain how Eratosthenes in the third century BC performed the calculations to find the radius and the circumference of the Earth using trigonometry.
The Greek mathematician Eratosthenes realized that on the day of the summer solstice (June 21) at noon, in the city of Siena (now Aswan) sunlight cast no shadow on the bottom of a well, but in the city of Alexandria, north of Siena, on the same day and same time it a shadow on the bottom of a well projected ...
I explained who I was Eratosthenes, how the measurements were made, the hypotheses regarding the geographical location which he assumed, etc.
If applicable, please try to highlight how the chosen solution increased the interest of the student towards science.

It is a transversal story and covering knowledge of astronomy, geography and history of science. The story captures the interest of students and make them see the relationship between different disciplines.

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Dissemination Seminar in Florence

31 October 2015 The seminar has been held in ITIS “A. Meucci” one of the schools involved within Goerudio project activities. Its main aim was to promote the results of the project toward a broad sample of stakeholders even overcrossing the number of people directly involved in the production of project outcomes. This purpose has been totally achieved especially thanks to the participation of students and teachers coming from different schools or from other classes instead of those ones directly involved within the project activities.