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Monday, January 14, 2013

How Understanding the Atom can help the Eleven Plus

Some parents may have ambitions beyond the eleven plus. Ernest Rutherford’s mother and father were probably very proud of him. “Ernest, stop talking about splitting the atom. Come and have your evening meal.”

We need to go back to Empedocles in the Fifth Century BC who stated that the universe was composed of four basic elements: Earth, Air, Fire and Water. This was accepted for around two thousand years. Imagine how proud the mother and father of Empedocles would feel if they were still around! It was, however, Leucippus and Democritus who developed the idea of the atom. To them the atom was a tiny particle of matter that could not be split.

Ernest, however, split the atom. (If one atom is an atomos – then what is half an atom?)

If you want your child to be remembered for a long time, work on the atom.

Eleven plus children, however, have to be able to play with words.

The letters make: a, am, at, atom, mat, moat and to. There may even be a few more!

With `atomos’ (From the Ancient Greek) we get an extra moo, moot and soot.

I wonder how many words we can get from the letters in Ernest Rutherford!