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The first place for the Romanian students at the Eratosthenes Experiment international contest


30 May 2014


Languages & Culture
Social Europe & Jobs
A tiny school in Romania recreated the Eratosthenes Experiment and won the contest with 370 schools from 37 countries.

Bucharest, May 29 – After 2,200 years since the experiment made by the famous mathematician and astronomer from ancient times, the school team lead by the math teacher Ovidiu Geambazu from the School of Jimbolia has recreated the experiment (together with a school from Turkey, Ezgilier Educational Institute) to calculate the circumference of Earth.

At their respective noontimes on the equinox day – 21st of March – the students measured the length of shadows cast by sticks, and then consult the observations made by others at the same latitude. By sharing this data, invoking the properties of right triangles and applying proportional reasoning to angular distances, the students obtained a good measurement of our planet’s size.

The experiment, which took place in the school yard, was documented with photos that brought the teenagers and their teacher the First place at the 2014 International Photography Contest Eratosthenes Experiment, organized by the Department for Study and Development of the Greek organization Ellinogermaniki Agogi. The experiment is part of the European project for studying, ISE-Inspiring Science Education, the contest being similar to another project, ODS - Open Discovery Space.

„The Erathosthene Experiment 2014, developed by our students, recreates the steps made by the famous greek mathematician and astronomer in his attempt to measure the circumference of the Earth, by using the shadow of the Obelisk of Alexandria at the Summer Solstice date. The “little” difference from the original experiment is that the Greek approximated the distances with the number of steps made by people paid for doing it, while we used computers and eLearning software available on internet, says Ovidiu Geambazu, math proffesor at Jimbolia School.

How can we attract students to take part in scientific projects?

The Eratosthenes experiment, organized on 21st of March 2014, the day before the Summer Solstice, attracted the interest of both teachers and students, 350 schools from 37 countries entering the contest. The schools had to choose a pair on the same latitude, from an area suggested by the organizers, and recreate the experiment at the same time, providing the organizers with the results of the measurements and photo proof.

The award went to the teachers of the two schools, Ovidiu Geambazu and Ugur Altunbayrak who will take part at the Inspiring Science Education Summer Academy, in Athens, this summer.

„When teaching math, one of the teacher’s goals is to attract students to mathematics and science. By presenting them with this interesting project, the idea of Eratosthenes for measuring the circumferance of our planet and the easy and friendly way for developing the activites, I think I have managed to show them the fact that math, as well as other science, is a discipline which deserves and has to be studied with growing interest, particulary the activities that use the method of project-based learning”, stated professor Ovidiu Geambazu.

Both teams from Jimbolia, Romania, and Samsun, Turkey, have determined the circumference of the Earth by using eLearning tools but also simple instruments like wood setsquare. The teams have worked together, by using dedicated portals for educational comunities.

Professors have acces to over 600,000 educational resources

“For the activities of the ODS and ISE projects, SIVECO Romania has a national coordinator role. On the project portal,, we have created the Professors Comunity of Romania, where we already have over 30 schools registered. Why is this portal important? Basically, the teachers of this community have the chance to interact with other teaching comunities around Europe and have acces to over 600,000 educational resources. The schools ensure international visibility, aspect not being improved by now. Secondly, we present information regarding contests, special events, workshops. Not in the last, the schools can take part in student-exchange programs, inside the European Comunity” has stated Marius Preda, Project Manager and National Coordinator ODS, SIVECO Romania.

SIVECO is partner within the European project Open Discovery Space, which takes places between April 2012 and March 2015 with the purpose of attracting over 2,000 international schools. The coordination team from the company has started to advertise and register the schools of Romania, achieving a number of 56 schools to this moment. The aim of the project is to improve methods of teaching from all domains and combine the IT abilities with pedagogy inovations, curriculum and school organization

Main contact:
Anca Crahmaliuc

Marketing & Communication Manager
SIVECO Romania SA,
Soseaua Bucuresti – Ploiesti,
Victoria Park, nr. 73-81, sector 1, București
tel.: 4021-302.33.00, fax: 4021-302.33.91