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“It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.” – Neil Armstrong (1930-2012)

Fresh Reads from the Science 'o sphere!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Science Myths - From Your Teacher.

We live in a world that is overloaded with information. Just check out your local library or bookstore to get an idea of just how much stuff is out there. For young kids just starting out in primary school, they have no way of discerning accurate information from noise and misinformation yet. We need teachers to organize and simplify this information to guide them along on their educational journey.

But what happens if the teachers themselves have a poor grasp of the concepts? Outdated information? Or completely wrong information?

This is important because what we learn at an early age will shape our thinking as an adult. For many people, it becomes so entrenched that they will reject new knowledge that comes their way. Even if what they were originally taught was utterly wrong.

Here are three websites that address this issue for science education.

Bad Science

"Science Myths" in K-6 Textbooks and Popular culture

Recurring Science Misconceptions in K-6 Textbooks

Did you find anything there that your teacher taught wrong? *wink*

My personal peeve is how flight is usually taught to people. Most are taught about lift using wing shape and Bernoulli Effect, but this has been often misunderstood. I think it's much better to explain lift using Newton's Third Law.

It is more inclusive. Explains why airplanes can fly upside down.

Also explains why paper darts, kites, frisbees and bats can fly.

For a more detailed explanation, check out this cool NASA website with interactive demos.

Theories of Lift

Here's another interesting page that examines some glaring mistakes of science and engineering in pop culture.

Whoops! Blunders and Mistakes of Science and Engineering

If you want to impress others about your technical prowess with cool graphics, best check that your design is both cool AND correct.