School children join forces to recreate Eratosthenes’ experiment


More than 10,000 schoolchildren from 35 countries around the world took part in an annual scientific project designed to calculate the circumference of the Earth, recreating the famous experiment of Greek scientific writer and astronomer Eratosthenes.

Pupils in the town of Tychero on Greece’s northwestern border took part in the experiment for the 15th time in as many years, in collaboration with their South African peers in Boyden, on the same longitude. Like Eratosthenes some 2,000 years ago, the youngsters were able to give an estimation of the Earth’s radius simply by observing the shadow of a vertical stick at noon local solar time.

“It was an unforgettable experience. By applying the math we know, we realized its usefulness in the real world,” said Alexanda, a senior high school pupil from Tychero.

The Eratosthenes Experiment took place on March 22, organized in Greece by Ellinogermaniki Agogi’s Research and Development Department in collaboration with the Hellenic Mathematical Society.