Archimedes and the Door of Science
post written by Emma Filbrun
Title: Archimedes and the Door of Science
Author: Jeanne Bendick
Major Themes: Archimedes, Science, Math, Geometry, Ancient Greece
Synopsis: Archimedes, who lived on the island of Sicily in the 200s BC, and who was perhaps the greatest scientist and mathematician who ever lived, is brought to life in this fascinating biography.
My daughter read Archimedes and the Door of Science several years ago for school, and remembers being thoroughly bored with it. I warned her not to tell her brothers that, however, when I started reading it to them this week to go along with our study of Ancient History. They found parts of it quite interesting, and I found a lot of it fascinating.
Did you know that an oar is a machine? It is a lever, and all levers are a form of machine! In fact, anything that makes work easier is a machine. Archimedes claimed that if he had another earth to stand on, he could move this earth! The king of Syracuse, on the island of Sicily, tested Archimedes’ claim by asking him to move an enormous warship loaded with people. With the help of ropes, pulleys, and a giant screw, Archimedes moved the ship with ease.
If Archimedes was interested in machines, he was fascinated with geometry. He discovered many principles about parabolas, lines, plane figures, and solids. He was so excited with some of his discoveries about spheres and cylinders that he wanted his discovery to be carved on his tombstone. And on what type of medium did he draw his figures on to make his exciting discoveries? You’ll have to read the book to find out!
If you are studying Ancient Greece, Archimedes and the Door of Science is a wonderful resource to bring the period to life. It is also a great supplement to science and math.