Misconceptions in Science
Earth science Misconceptions
1. The Earth is sitting on something.
2. The Earth is larger than the Sun.
3. The Earth is round like a pancake
4. We live on the flat middle of a sphere.
5. Rain comes from holes in clouds.
6. Rains comes from clouds' sweating.
7. Rain falls from funnels in the clouds
8. Rain occurs when clouds are shaken.
9. Rain occurs when clouds get scrambled and melt.
10. God and angles cause thunder and lightning.
11. Clouds move because we move.
12. Clouds come from somewhere above the sky.
13. Empty clouds are refilled by the sea.
14. The sun boils the sea to create water vapour.
15. Clouds are made of cotton, wool, or smoke.
16. Clouds are bags of water.
Common Misconceptions in the Life Sciences
1. Plants, fungi, eggs and seeds are not living.
2. Young children do not recognize trees as living although they understand that seedlings are alive.
3. Only large land mammals are animals.
4. Penguins and turtles are amphibians because they are both in and out of water.
5. Whales, jellyfish, and starfish are all fish.
6. Behaviour and habitat are criteria for classification.
7. Food is anything useful taken into the body including: water, minerals, carbon dioxide (plants), and sunlight.
8. Students concept of digestion is often confused both in the route and the process.
9. Digestion is the process that releases usable energy from food.
10. Respiration is synonymous with breathing.
Common Misconceptions about Plants - Obtaining and Using Energy 1. Plants obtain their energy directly from the sun.
2. Plants have multiple sources of food (heterotrophic as well as autotrophic). 3. Carbon dioxide, water, and minerals are food.
4. Plants feed by absorbing food through their roots.
5. Plants use heat from the sun as a source of energy for photosynthesis 6. Sunlight is a food.
7. Sunlight is composed of molecules.
8. Sunlight is “consumed” in photosynthesis.
9. Plants absorb water through their leaves.
10. Plants produce oxygen for our benefit.
Common Misconceptions about LIGHT
1. An object is seen whenever light shines on it, with no recognition that light must move between the object and the observer's eye. 2. Light is not necessarily conserved. It may disappear or be intensified. 3. Light is reflected away from shiny surfaces, but light is not reflected from other surfaces. 4. Light always passes straight through transparent material (without changing direction). 5. When an object is viewed through a transparent material, the object is seen exactly where it is located. 6. Lines drawn outward from a light bulb in a sketch represent the "glow" surrounding the bulb. Light from a bulb only extends outward a certain distance and then stops. How far it extends depends on the brightness of the bulb. 7. An observe can see more of his or her mirror image by moving further back from the mirror. 8. A shadow is something that exists on its own. Light pushes the shadow away from the object to a wall, the ground, or other surface where the shadow lies. Shadows are "dark reflections" of objects.
Common Misconceptions about Energy
1. 1. Energy is truly lost in many energy transformations. 2. There is no relationship between matter and energy.
3. If energy is conserved, why are we running out of it?
4. Energy can be changed completely from one form to another (no energy losses). 5. Things “use up” energy.
6. Energy is confined to some particular origin, such as what we get from food or what the electric company sells. 7. An object at rest has no energy.
8. The only type of potential energy is gravitational.
9. Gravitational potential energy depends only on the height of an object. 10. Doubling the...
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