I often find myself searching for science books that I can use in my lessons, anything from entertaining fun science to incredibly challenging problems and issues for debate. Thus it was that I stumbled across Brian Clegg’s “How many Moons does the Earth have?” This book hails itself as the ultimate science quiz book and it is indeed a book designed to be used as a traditional quiz book.
It is split into rounds and has bonus rounds and picture rounds much as a pub quiz might if we lived in a much more interesting world where every round was about science. It does offer a little more than just questions and answers though, it contains some interesting pieces of information for each question and this is where I found a lot of my enjoyment. Being a physics and chemistry teacher of ten long, but incredibly fun, years I am always on the lookout for books that can be adapted and used as a teaching tool.
I have used some of the more intriguing questions from this book as lesson starters and then discussed some of the extra information that the author gives under the title “while you’re thinking”. It is always fun to do a little science quiz each term and for this purpose the book is a great little addition to other resources. Beyond this, the book lends itself to topping up your personal science “fact bank”. By definition, a lot of the questions are a “you either know it or you don’t” kind of affair. For example, “what is spaghettification” is asked in the opening section and if one has not ever bothered to investigate the fascinating topic of black holes then you may well be stumped and a lot of the questions are of this form. I must say though that I enjoyed reading this short but enjoyable book and that it does exactly what it sets out to do.
How Many Moons Does the Earth Have? The ultimate science quiz book by Brian Clegg
Paul Lederer is head of physics at Thomas Tallis School.