Isaac Newton (LS-RS-511)

This Learning Scenario promoting project-based learning was created by Natalia Budinski, a Serbian mathematics teacher. It combines mathematics and physics with the history of the great scientist, Isaac Newton. The learning scenario helps to connect the past and the past discoveries to contemporary science and life. It is designed for students of 15 years old.

Life and work of the great scientist

Students researched Isaac Newton‘s biography, one of the most famous scientists ever. Since his connection to mathematics, we dedicated some time during the math lessons to get known his biography. Students used not only Europeana resources but also other resources to find out more about his work and life. They made a presentation and presented the most interesting facts from his life.

Nature and Nature’s Laws lay hid in Night:

GOD said, Let Newton be! and all was Light.

(Alexander Pope, 1797)

Newton was born after the death of his father (also called Isaac Newton). He was a top student at school, but his mother wanted him to be a farmer. His schoolmaster, who saw his talent, persuaded his mother to let him study further. Eventually, he became a professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University.

Isaac Newton’s book Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica became the foundation of modern science, but he also invented Calculus, together with Leibniz. Unfortunately, their friendship split because of that, but mathematics and science gained a lot. Isaac Newton had an impact on physics as well.

Increasing students’ motivation

Students created a poster or presentation of Isaac Newton based on the sources. This activity promotes the history of mathematics and the work of famous mathematicians in order to increase motivation in learning mathematics. This helps students to understand the development of science, physics, and mathematics.

The following online materials were used:

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Public Domain Mark 1.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the Rijksmuseum.

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