General Science and Teaching

Debunking Misconceptions Using Unusual Resources

Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:21 PM

Hi everyone:
I ran across the following article:
To me something like this article read by middle school students or higher might start a wonderful discussion about real science. It is amazing what students read and accept as 'real science'. In the past in my physics classes I would ask students to pick an article from the "Enquirer" and debunk the bad science.
What do you think of this technique to get at student misconceptions about 'real-world' science. Hope you enjoy the article. it made me laugh.

Adah Stock
Adah Stock
101470 Activity Points

Sun Aug 14, 2011 9:47 PM

I am sorry I am just now noticing your thread, Adah. I loved the article. It reminded me of when I had a student tell me I was wrong about the U.S. not having explored Mars firsthand yet. She said she had just seen the Movie, "Mission to Mars"! I agree with you that being discerning readers and being able to separate fact from fiction is definitely something to incorporate into our course content.

Carolyn Mohr
Carolyn Mohr
79618 Activity Points

Mon Aug 22, 2011 5:36 PM

There's a website, I believe it's called "Blick's Flicks" that uses physics to debunk many TV and movie errors. My favorite is in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. A plane is going down so Dr. Jones inflates a life raft, three people board and ride out of the airplane through the atmosphere, land smoothly on a snow covered mountain, glide down the mountain with no mishap, and finally slide into the water of a river. All this while still having all persons and their packs on board.

There is also a column, in The Science Teacher periodically that discusses the same kinds of phenomena.

Bambi Bailey
Bambi Bailey
9515 Activity Points

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