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Misconceptions In Science

Discussion in 'Science' started by Apple101, Jul 7, 2016.

  1. nemo.

    nemo. Occasional commenter

    I have a year 10 class that half of them insist that the US made up the moon landings. Its on youtube so they say. Some very convincing nonsense on YouTube! Whatever I argued they had a youtube answer. They have a misconception that a guy in a suit on YouTube must be true. Still fighting this one... I will win. I must win!
  2. CheeseMongler

    CheeseMongler Lead commenter

    The most convincing argument I've used to "prove" the moon landings is the lack of complaint from the USSR at the time. I find this is more powerful (to me and the students) than any of the actual evidence that is valid and reliable.
  3. ScienceGuy

    ScienceGuy Established commenter

    One of my Year 11 students discovered conspiracy websites around February this year and got more and more convinced by them at that term carried on to the point where any question about global warming was seen as part of a conspiracy and that it was not happening. I hope that she managed to hold that in when it came to her actual papers
  4. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    I usually go down the route that there must have been tens of thousands of people involved in the project, possibly hundreds of thousands. If it had been faked then someone would have blown the whistle by now. The other argument I use is that I watched it happen live on the TV so it must be true.
  5. robjgriff

    robjgriff New commenter

    Hi......I know this is a little off topic but am trying to offer as many AQA science teachers as possible some free trial access to our AQA online / offline resource packages. They are quite unique and I hope you enjoy using them in the lab!

    Visit thinkie @ science-gcse.co.uk and click once for a free trial login. Share it with the teachers in your department.
    Some sample offline QR sheets:



    Rob - info@science-gcse.co.uk

    Attached Files:

    install likes this.
  6. paulamorris1

    paulamorris1 New commenter

    What are the 5 main misconceptions you hear in Science and how do you overcome them?
  7. Isoceles

    Isoceles New commenter

    Throwing a lit cigarette into petrol causes an explosion. Total Hollywood myth.
  8. bonxie

    bonxie Lead commenter

    I overheard a colleague teaching a topic on living things teach the pupils that "fire is alive". When I later asked why she thought this, she replied ""Well it does the MRS NERG things that all living things do: moves, reproduces (via sparks), respires (fires require oxygen), grows (fires get bigger), excretes (ash)...
  9. Skeoch

    Skeoch Lead commenter

    Seriously? I can imagine a lesson on MRS NERG where a teacher deliberately claimed this in order to get the class to disprove the claim and therefore reinforce understanding. I can't believe a competent teacher would believe this claim, however.
    LCR1970 likes this.
  10. LCR1970

    LCR1970 New commenter

    I like the Earth Science misconception 'Volcanic Lava comes from the Earth's liquid outer core' (!!!!!)
  11. LCR1970

    LCR1970 New commenter

    I can't believe how many resources and text books have diagrams showing the particles in a liquid with gaps between them which is clearing wrong as liquids are incompressible. This leads to the misconception...
    The particles in a solid are close together and the particles in a gas are far apart, so the spacing between particles in a liquid must be half way between those in a solid and in a gas.
    install likes this.
  12. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    It is thought that some superplumes originate at the boundary of the outer core and the mantle.
  13. gainly

    gainly Lead commenter

    I think many misconceptions arise from the simplified diagrams in text books such as diagrams of a atoms where the electrons go round in circular orbits whose radius is only 3 or 4 times the radius of the nucleus. I like to point out to students how big the diagram would be if the atom was drawn to scale with a 1 cm diameter nucleus.
  14. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    I always compare the atom to a football stadium (choose your local one) if the nucleus is the ball on the centre spot the electrons are out on the edge of the terraces.
  15. gainly

    gainly Lead commenter

    "For an observer falling freely from the roof of a house, the gravitational field does not exist”. Einstein later described this as the happiest thought of his life. So since the astronauts are in free fall, they really are weightless.

    The explanation in terms of apparent weightlessness because of absence of contact force applies in Newton's theory but isn't really correct. Nevertheless we probably should stick to teaching that, as Einstein's general theory of relativity is well beyond anything they would do at school. As TSC47 said, science is a process of diminishing lies.
  16. border_walker

    border_walker Lead commenter

    I might change the term lies to simplifications.
  17. gainly

    gainly Lead commenter

    Yes I agree, simplifications might be a better word.
  18. gainly

    gainly Lead commenter

    Actually the electrons would be even further away, although the main point is just that they are a long way away from the nucleus. The diameter of the atom is about 10.000 times the nucleus, so for a 22 cm diameter football the electrons would be around 2.2 km away.
    blazer and CheeseMongler like this.
  19. CheeseMongler

    CheeseMongler Lead commenter

    Think you mean could, not would! Pesky electrons could be anywhere they fancy... Damned quantum mechanics.
    border_walker likes this.
  20. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    eletcrons orbit the nucleus....

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