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Inspiring kids' love of science through the power of story

June 3, 2020

          

Free Resource to Help your Family Know Science Fact 
from Science Fiction 

We read on Facebook that alcohol would kill Covid, but then we saw that heat and direct sunlight would also do the trick. And finally that the whole thing is a hoax devised to make drug companies rich. So, if you find us lying out in the backyard, mingling maskless with beverages in hand, soaking up some sun, clearly we are conducting important medical experiments! How does anyone know what information to trust these days?


In these complicated and confusing times we are being bombarded daily with new ‘scientific’ facts, unfamiliar terminology, and claims for as yet unproven cures. It is enough to truly make one’s head spin. We all need a framework to examine and test the claims that seem to be based on science but often are not.


The best way to investigate a questionable scientific-sounding claim is to ask good questions. You can remember the following three sets of questions using the acronym SAP. A “sap” is a fool, and no one wants to be fooled by misinformation!


1) Sources 

  • Are there good references provided so you know what experts think? 

  • Do well-qualified people have a different point of view than the one presented?

2) Author

  • Where did the claim come from? 

  • Is the claim made by a qualified scientist, a reputable group or website? 

  • Can you even tell who the author is?

3) Purpose

  • Why was the information made available? 

  • Is it because somebody is selling something? In which case we should be extra careful before believing what they say.

  • Is the purpose to stir up your emotions, to change your vote, or to provide information?

  • Do well-qualified people have a different point of view than the one presented?

Science is the pursuit of explanations of the natural world. It is deeply rooted in the minds of human beings, who for millennia have demonstrated a need to understand the world around them. A full discussion of the nature of science requires more than this one page.


However, if you want to more closely examine ‘science – fact or fiction,’ WGBH’s NOVA, Andy Zucker and our founder Penny Noyce created a FREE one-week unit for grades 6-12 called “Resisting Scientific Misinformation,” available HERE


HERE is a list of organizations that might have reliable advice and answers to some of your questions.


Don’t be a SAP – stay informed…and stay safe.

 

The Tumblehome Team

     

Contact us:781-924-5036 info@tumblehomebooks.org | www.TumblehomeBooks.org

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