Tag Archives: pseudoscience

Nature of Science: Unit 1 Wrap-Up

We brought Unit 1 to a close by revisiting the Golden Ratio.  Students were introduced to the concept of “respectful scientific discourse” and practiced sharing their thoughts about whether the Golden Ratio should be considered science or pseudoscience.  Students practiced discourse in groups of 4 multiple times throughout the period.  Between group discussions, we revisited the Golden Ratio.  Students re-watched a segment of the first video (below) and we discussed the effect of the video production (music, narration, images) on their perception of the Golden Ratio as science or pseudoscience.  Students were reminded of the Bill Nye video we watched where they learned that practitioners of pseudoscience often play on our senses and our emotions to try and earn our trust (and our money!).  We then watched a video by Hank Green (SciShow), where the Golden Ratio is presented in a style that might be seen as more credible than the first video.  We concluded the lesson either by watching video segments by Vi Hart (see the September 21 post), or more comprehensibly for the students, through an artistic representation  by the teacher, of how the Golden Ratio manifests in plant growth through the actions of hormones.  As our understanding of plant hormones and genetics grows, it would appear the Golden Ratio is in fact firmly grounded in science, as least with respect to plants.

Video 1

Video 2

Final Model – Teacher Drawing

artistic representation

Nature of Science: Baloney Detection Kit

With only 35 minutes of class time today, we had just enough time to take our first clicker quiz and then watch Michael Shermer’s video Baloney Detection Kit (below).  Students are asked to complete a worksheet briefly describing each of the 10 points Dr. Shermer discusses and to apply their understanding to the Golden Ratio.  The worksheet is due at the beginning of class on Monday.  Because of all of the schedule changes this week, students will have until next Monday (9/15) to turn in the following work for full credit:

1. Signed syllabus and safety contract

2. Golden Ratio worksheet (p. 62)

3. Eyes of Nye Pseudoscience video worksheet

4. Baloney Detection Kit video worksheet