8 Replies Latest reply on Apr 1, 2013 8:12 PM by glen_w

    Science Myths and Misconceptions


      My class wiki is called Mythwiki. It was originally a wiki devoted to science myths and misconceptions (a la Mythbusters). This is now just part of my class wiki, which encompasses all academic areas, but it is still an important part of the wiki. My students choose a question/statement to debate, research, and, ultimately, answer accurately. Examples include, "My veins are blue, so my blood is blue," "My heart stops when I sneeze," and "Plants don't need oxygen. The breathe in carbon dioxide and give off oxygen."

       

      What are some science myths and misconceptions that you have come across or have had a hard time correcting with your students?

          • Re: Science Myths and Misconceptions

            Shannon,

             

            Thanks for the link. I'll add it to my wiki.

            I do have a question about the exposure to space -- you wouldn't explode, but you would asphyxiate. It seems that you would freeze and then your blood would boil because of very low pressure. I wonder which would happen first.

            • Re: Science Myths and Misconceptions
              glen_w

              Shannon,

               

              I'm trying to figure out when I can fit the Big Myths of Everyday Science into my lessons. It's not part of the core my students will be tested on. I, however, believe that overcoming misconceptions is extremely important. The slide show nature of this Discovery Channel feature with accompanying text is laid out very well for the middle school student.

               

              Do you or anyone else have ideas on science misconceptions that students can disprove in the classroom? I'm thinking it would be interesting to see if proving things wrong would change a student's previous misconceptions.

                • Re: Science Myths and Misconceptions

                  We keep a list on our wiki as statements/questions come up. The most recent: a couple of days ago my teenage son and his girl friend called me outside to look at something they had in a small styrofoam cooler. It was a baby opossum they caught crossing the driveway. They wanted to know what to do with it, including possibly keeping it. I said no way, and told them what they should have done was not catch it in the first place. Then I told them they should just let it go where they found it (it was about 11 pm). My son wanted to pet it and his girl friend said the mother would reject it if it smelled "human" on it. I said that was just a myth, like touching baby birds. Then I added that even baby opossums can bite. They released the opossum and then we looked up what to do with baby wild animals and they read for themselves.

                    • Re: Science Myths and Misconceptions
                      glen_w

                      I always am excited when students "own their learning" as they find answer to questions they have. I like how your wiki is helping students with misconceptions. (I always wonder if they accept reality or return to the misconception later.)

                       

                      Have you seen anything with your classes that indicates this wiki is helping overcome misconceptions in the long run?

                • Re: Science Myths and Misconceptions
                  lwenske

                  well, i know i have not been the best at explaining how plants do need oxygen, too, so i appreciate the reminder!

                   

                  i think your myth (now expanded) wiki is awesome!  i have rarely seen such a great example of true learning for students, and i'm glad you've mentioned it here.  having students research items that they wonder about, is inquiry based learning at it's finest, and i think it's great.  plus, some students so love the mythbusters show, this interest in thinking about what happens around you, is awesomely inspiring and educationally fantastic.

                    • Re: Science Myths and Misconceptions

                      Lisa, love your response.  You beat me to it.  What a great way to teach. A teacher could have the students talk about what they believe to be true and then work to show that it is or not.  I can see all sorts of standards being taught in a lesson such as that.

                       

                      Neil

                        • Re: Science Myths and Misconceptions
                          lwenske

                          thanks, neil!    sorry that i posted, first.  we can consider it, a tie. 

                           

                          i just read the myths that shannon linked to, and there's just so much out there that is a bit misunderstood (by, myself, included!!).  such fun!  glad to hear that einstein did do well in school, and that sometimes the simpsons may not be giving out perfectly correct information.