If there’s one thing the internet loves – besides cat videos and anonymous sniping, that is – it’s a good portmanteau word.
So it should come as no surprise that when TES featured “sciku”, also known as science explained through haiku, people were eager to add to Camden School for Girls' collection – the North London secondary has recently released a book titled Sciku: The Wonder of Science in Haiku, which was written and edited by its students.
Among the budding poets contacting TES, Erwin Schrödinger – and his cat – proved to be a popular source of inspiration.
@RGSHaiku started things off by imploring the famous Danish scientist not to test his most famous theory:
Curiosity? Fine – but let’s not kill the cat, Doctor Schrödinger!
And, for those who aren’t aware of the theory, @hullodave helpfully explained it all:
Box contains a cat Does isotope cause cat death? Open box to know.
Meanwhile, @Sdfahey revealed that Schrödinger didn’t have to look too far for test subjects:
"Where’s the cat?" enquires Mrs Schrödinger. Erwin Shrugs and pats the dog.
And the tale is completed by @martincampbell2’s effort:
A box is opened. A furry wave collapses. Danish cat murder.
(Editorial note: We hope to see this as a BBC4 subtitled series in the very near future.)
The other most popular source of inspiration came from the excitement of the laboratory and a classic play on words.
@Kathylambert100 went with:
The chemistry staff Are flirting with each other, Combustible moods.
Two science teachers Kiss and hug in a test tube Oh, the chemistry.
While @enrichlearning proved that it’s not just chemistry teachers who get to have all the fun:
The physics teachers Are flirting with each other, Terrible friction.
Some used real science to haiku very interesting scientific tidbits, such as @1stClown:
The tea is always Cold or lost to early steam Atop Everest.
@MarcusAONeill proved that a haiku should be no barrier to properly attributing your sources:
More stars in the sky Than atoms in universe – Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Others showed how haiku might help students to remember vital facts. @adgething provided a handy biology example:
Plant cells have a wall, Vacuole and chloroplasts, Animal cells don’t.
@Dr_Plant_BISBsk offered this handy physics poem:
light travels quickly three hundred million meters in just one second.
And chemical reactions were explained by @SarahBearchell:
Particles vibrate Add energy to speed them And change to new state.
Finally, if you wanted a haiku to inspire your students, you had plenty to choose from. @nosila_63 tweeted:
Look listen wonder Never stop asking what why Imagine bigger.
@magicdarts, meanwhile, offered this:
Dreams are important; Kekulé, Mendeleev; Serendipity.
@ShelleyMaxfield implored students:
wonder at the world big ideas circulate make our own meaning.
@ModernMusicDan used the smallest thing in the universe to make a very big point:
In each of your hands, an atom from distant stars; grasp the galaxy.
@RobAnthony01 didn’t need to mix together too many elements to create this:
Imagination is fired by the lilac flame of potassium.
And last, but by no means least, @headhighwood had these words of advice for budding scientists:
Do not be afraid. Mistakes will always happen. Learn from them next time.