Archive for December, 2012

Einstein Is A Reality Star Who Invented Facebook, Survey Says

A recent poll shows that third graders believe Albert Einstein is a reality TV star, and can’t identify who discovered gravity.  However, these same third graders can accurately name mark Zuckerberg as the inventor of Facebook – a definite indication of the times.  Read on for the full story of how kids these days lack knowledge of iconic science heroes. 


A new study out of the UK suggests that maybe parents should educate their children a little more about facts, and a little less about reality stars and fictional characters.

According to the new study, a third of primary school children in the UK believe that Albert Einstein is a reality television star. The UK school children polled in the study believe that they had seen Einstein on shows like The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent. For those of you who are unaware and do not see the shame in that, Albert Einstein died in 1955.


If that statistic isn’t enough to have Santa Claus’ presents dropped from this year’s Christmas agenda in lieu of a simple history book, then how about the fact that 22 percent of eight year olds believe Stephen Hawking is a hairdresser.


The same percentage of seven year olds credit Thomas Edison, who invented the electric light bulb, as the creator of Facebook. However, Mark Zuckerberg, the actual creator of Facebook, is not left out in the dark.


Sixty-eight percent of the students polled in the survey were able to properly identify Zuckerberg as the creator of the world’s largest social network. Maybe if Einstein were still around to have a Facebook profile, more children would know who he was.


The survey by home appliances firm Haier also found that 35 percent of five year olds think London Mayor Boris Johnson discovered gravity.


As ages progress, the knowledge of the father of some rudimentary laws of physics still remained unknown. The survey found that a third of 11 to 14 year olds still did not know who discovered gravity.


It seems as though popular culture has a lot to do with a child’s perspective of science. One in five primary school children believe that England and Manchester United soccer player Wayne Rooney is a scientist.


Also, according to a child’s mind, X Factor judge Tulisa Contostavlos is credited for being the creator of penicillin.


“It is eye-opening to discover children of today are more aware of Mark Zuckerberg than men and women who made iconic discoveries and inventions that revolutionized the modern world,” Jeff Moody, from Haier, said in a statement to the Daily Mail.


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Study Shows US College Students Suck At Math

As if we needed further confirmation that our students are lacking in much needed math skills, a new study reported on the website RedOrbit shows that U.S. students have low math IQs.  Participants in the study were given various math related problems, and then were asked to explain how they got the answers they got.  Based on the results, researchers were given reason to suspect that even the right answers were just guesses! Read on for the full story. 


When it comes to texting and updating Facebook, our U.S. culture has an edge on all other societies, but mathematics is a different story altogether. A new research paper looked at how U.S. students fared in comparison to other nations, and found that our national math IQ is lacking.

In the study, U.S. college students were presented with a number line, ranging from -2 to 2, and were asked to pinpoint the location of 0.7 and 13/8. They found that just 21 percent of students answered the equation correctly.

When the students were asked whether a/5 or a/8 was greater, only 53 percent answered correctly. The authors believe that many of the participants could’ve been just guessing, since 36 percent were unable to explain why one was bigger.

The researchers said that since much of math education is just following formulas, students are incapable of tracking problems only slightly different than ones that they have encountered.

A student was asked in the study whether it was possible to check if 462 + 253 = 715. The student correctly answered that you could subtract 253 from 715, but when he was asked whether one could also do 715 – 462, the student “did not think so.”

Another set of questions checked to determine whether students would take advantage of relationships between problems to find easy solutions. These students were asked to solve the following problems: 10 × 3 = ; 10 × 13 = ; 20 × 13 = ; 30 × 13 = ; 31 × 13 = ; 29 × 13 = ; and 22 × 13 = .

Once problem two is solved, the third becomes easier by simply multiplying the answer by two. However, 77 percent of the students never took advantage of those relationships, and simply did the multiplication for each problem.

The researchers found that 77 percent of the students believed that math was not something that could be figured out, or that made sense. Instead, the students believed math was a step of procedures and rules to be memorized.

The team believes the results suggest that U.S. students may be able to do a lot better in math if they can develop a basic conceptual understanding.

“This finding helps make sense of the community college students’ lack of conceptual understanding,” Nate Kornell wrote in “Everybody is Stupid Except You,” published in Psychology Today. “They have been taught in a way that deprives them of the chance to work through the concepts they are being taught. No wonder they see math as an exercise in memorization.”

“The concepts are learnable. On the other hand, teaching mathematical concept is deceptively difficult. Teachers need high quality training, and more research (and funding) is needed to make that happen,” Kornell concluded.


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