Basic Astronomy Concepts In The Footsteps Of Eratosthenes
Based on Eratosthenes’ method of “Measuring the Circumference of Earth,” dating from 276 BC, this study is the result of a fiveday, three-stage, science school, “I am Learning about My Planet” with the intent of having participants gain understanding of the basic concepts of astronomy in a non-traditional setting and using a non-traditional method. The first stage involved astronomy science schools with 30 primary school teachers and the second stage involved 30 primary school pupils (aged 14).
The last stage completed a “Measuring the Circumference of Earth” experimental activity with the participation of both the teachers and the pupils. A pre-test and post-test of 13-items, based on “The Astronomy Diagnostic Test” and the Turkish educational curriculum evaluated changes in participants. A comparison of the data from the teachers and the students produced interesting results, notably that more pupils than teachers answered certain questions correctly. Furthermore, experiment produced a unique instrument for measuring the circumference of Earth, with a calculated margin of error of 0,17%.