Re: [asa] Accuracy vs. Methodology in Science Education

From: Jack <>
Date: Thu May 24 2007 - 21:23:45 EDT

What hypothesis was this child trying to prove? If he had one, was his
method valid for evaluating his hypothesis?
It seems to me that he was not following the scientific method. He was
trying to make a point. This was not an experiment, it was a demonstration.
He was trying to create a system that made things that had the appearance of
stalagtites in a brief period of time. But what does this setup have to do
with the real world, if anything? I seriously doubt that this child
approached this from a neutral perspective, and I suspect he had an agenda..
----- Original Message -----
From: "Christine Smith" <>
To: <>
Sent: Thursday, May 24, 2007 4:55 PM
Subject: [asa] Accuracy vs. Methodology in Science Education

>A friend of mine forwarded me the following tidbit
> from:
> "Brian Benson, an eighth-grade student who won first
> place in the Life Science/Biology category for his
> project "Creation Wins!!!," says he disproved part of
> the theory of evolution. Using a rolled-up paper towel
> suspended between two glasses of water with Epsom
> Salts, the paper towel formed stalactites. He states
> that the theory that they take millions of years to
> develop is incorrect.
> "Scientists say it takes millions of years to form
> stalactites," Benson said. "However, in only a couple
> of hours, I have formed stalactites just by using
> paper towel and Epsom Salts.""
> Initially, I was rather dismayed at the YEC "science"
> implicit in this story...but after thinking about it
> for a while, I posed the question to my friend "what
> are science fairs really for? Should the student be
> judged based on how much they struggled with and
> utilized the scientific method, regardless of the
> interpretation they come to, or should it be more
> about the accuracy of their conclusions?" This evolved
> (no pun intended) into a more general discussion about
> where the balance was between these two? And is the
> criteria different in the context of tests/quizzes
> versus the more exploratory context of
> reports/projects? In this particular example, can we
> really fault the student for coming to the conclusion
> that he did? Didn't he apply, to the best of his
> ability (and as much as we can tell from the article),
> the scientific method?
> Just curious as to the forum's take on this one...
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Received on Thu May 24 21:24:07 2007

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