Ping Poo, the Astronomer

Astronomical tale: scientific discovery  9+

Ping Poo is an astronomer of Chinese antiquity who thinks the stars hold on to the sky like flies on the ceiling. His colleague Li Fu disagrees; he thinks they hang with a string from the vault of heaven. They both make observations that confirm their theories, which only leads to further disagreements. In order to have a closer examination, they climb a mountain together; as they approach the clouds, Ping Poo makes a strange discovery…. This story refers to growth of knowledge and scientific discovery.

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The characters are fictitious, and so are their theories. The fact remains that understanding the sky, the sun, the moon, the movement of the stars, was a problem astronomers of antiquity tried to solve by analogy with what they knew and saw around them. Of course, today’s children, after a certain age, know that the ideas of these two astronomers are wrong. But when children see adults who are wrong, they are intrigued. Indeed, adults usually bring truth and knowledge, from a position of superiority, and when they are wrong, it makes, in a way, room for children.

Why I stage characters of the Antiquity

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