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Students will use science to debunk the Flat Earth "concept" (pseudoscience) while learning concepts of the Coriolis Effect, the Earth and Moon Movements and Global Positioning/ Map Coordinate Systems.

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Pseudoscience vs Science - Debunking the Flat Earth "Theory" using Science Logic

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School:
Calvin A. Hunsinger 
Subject:
Science 
Teacher:
Janet Cunningham 
Students Impacted:
25 
Grade:
9-12 
Date:
July 15, 2021

50% Funded

 

 

Only $387.50 Needed

 

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Goal

Students will use science to debunk the Flat Earth "concept" (pseudoscience) while learning concepts of the Coriolis Effect, the Earth and Moon Movements and Global Positioning/ Map Coordinate Systems. 

 

What will be done with my students

Students will be provided with the scenario that they need to disprove the Earth is flat ("Flat Earth Theory") using science. Science vs. Pseudoscience standard will be introduced with the goal of the students determining if the "Flat Earth Theory" constitutes science or pseudoscience.

The use of scientific inquiry will be promoted to allow the students to engage in productive science talk to determine students' background understanding that the Earth is a sphere. (Answers such as students have seen a globe or they have seen pictures of Earth from space may be provided but discounted since the individual students will not have any way to verify these models and photos are legitimate.)

The students will use their scientific knowledge gained through the use of 3 hands-on activities/labs (spread throughout the pacing guide - curriculum/standards) to dispute the "Flat Earth Concept." Students will build on their knowledge throughout each of the activities.

Activity #1 will engage the students in an activity on the Coriolis Effect (SC.912.E.7.6). Students will use lab materials to demonstrate the reason that storm systems in the northern hemisphere to spin counter-clockwise, while storm systems in the southern hemisphere spin clockwise. Additionally, why winds move in specific directions in different hemispheres. These are phenomena that "Flat Earther's" cannot explain.

Activity #2 (SC.912.E.7.7) will engage the students in an activity on the Earth and Moon movements. Students will use various lab materials which demonstrate the Sun, Earth and Moon positions. Students will use light from the Sun to determine if a "Flat Earth" is possible considering day and night cycles and seasonal cycles. Use of globe, lunar cycle puzzle and Sun, Moon, Earth model for hands-on activity.

Activity #3 (SC.912.E.5.6) will engage the students in an activity on the Global Positioning System and Mapping Coordinate System. Using these hands on materials, students will explain how a flat Earth would not be possible with the current GPS technology (which is easily viewable on cell phones, etc), airplane travel through multiple time zones and odometers on vehicles which travel across lines of longitude would not be consistent. Students will draw a conclusion about the shape of the Earth after calculating distances required for a Mapping Coordinate System which is based on the "Flat Earth Concept".

The students will learn the importance of understanding that not all concepts that look like science are science (pseudoscience)(SC.912.N.2.3) . The students will work through 3 different hands-on activities which individually show the Earth is not flat (but instead is a sphere) and collectively provide an exceedingly high level of evidence against the Flat Earth Theory.

Each of the activities show an important science concept and correlate with 1 or more state science standards (Coriolis Effect, Moon and Earth Movements, Global Positioning/Map Coordinate System). The students will learn the concepts which are integrated in the Earth Space and Environmental Science standards.


 

 

Benefits to my students

Students will learn to identify science as compared to pseudoscience. Students will be able to debunk (disprove) the concept that the Earth is flat. Students will learn scientific inquiry, the use of data driven scientific talk and understand and apply the standards related to the Florida High School Science Standards related to (1) the Coriolis Effect (SC.912.E.7.6) (2) GPS/Mapping Coordinate System (SC.912.E.7.7) (3) The Earth and Moon Movements (SC.912.E.5.6) and (4) Science vs Pseudoscience (SC.912.N.2.3).

 

 

Describe the Students

All students are Exceptional Student Education (ESE) students. Students are Emotional-Behavioral Disorders, Other Health Impaired, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and/or School Based Mental Health. The students are served in an ESE center with 100% ESE population.

Students tend to be low performers in the traditional school setting. Students are staffed into the school through ESE Services with guardian approval. Low class ratio, social skills training infused throughout the day, weekly counseling and case management services assist the students to reduce behavioral concerns. Subject area teachers are dually certified with ESE certification in order to implement the most effective ESE classroom teaching strategies to help the students improve their subject understanding, knowledge base and show learning gains.

Students tend to be hands-on learners. They work best with materials that they can manipulate and work with through multiple scenarios. Students tend to be able to conceptualize the more rigorous high school science standards when they are engaged in hands on data collection and discovery.
 

 

Budget Narrative

Carolina Coriolis Effect Lab for activity #1 - $185.00

Sun, Earth & Moon Orbiter Model for activity #2 - $125.00
Moon Phases Puzzle for activity #2 - $35.00

World Globe with Illuminated Constellations for activity #3 - $100.00
Flat Earth Map for activity #3 - $20.00
Large Blank World Outline Map Poster, Laminated, 36” x 24” Great Blank Wall Map for activity #3 - $30.00

Dry Erase Boards for Concept Mapping - $40.00
Dry Erase Markers for Concept Mapping - $20.00
INFUN Dry Erase Pockets for use with Black Line Masters/Templates - $20.00

NewPath Learning - 94-8001 Our Solar System Bulletin Board Charts: 3 Double-Sided, Laminated Science Charts Cover Earth – Inside & Out; Solar System; Sun, Earth & Moon for confirmation/background review - 20.00

Dry Erase Boards (4) and Dry Erase Markers (4) for all activities. Students will discuss the concepts related to each activity and create a (revisable) white board which contains their claim, evidence and justification. $180.00 

 

Items

# Item Cost
1 Carolina Investigations® for AP® Environmental Science: Coriolis Effect and Atmospheric Circulation 8-Station Kit Item # 18109 $185.00
2 Sun, Earth & Moon Orbiter Model, 12.25" - Three Dimensional - 12V Light Bulb Demonstrates Sunlight on Moon & Earth - Includes Experiment Guide - Eisco Labs $125.00
3 Moon Phases Puzzle - Montessori Puzzle - Education Tool for The Lunar Cycle $35.00
4 World Globe with Illuminated Constellations – 13” Light Up Globe for Kids & Adults – Interactive Earth Globe $100.00
5 Flat Earth Map - Gleason's New Standard Map Of The World - Large 24" x 36" 1892 Poster $20.00
6 Large Blank World Outline Map Poster, Laminated, 36” x 24” Great Blank Wall Map for Classroom $30.00
7 Arteza Magnetic Dry Erase Markers with Eraser, Pack of 36 (with Fine Tip), Black Color with Low-Odor Ink, Whiteboard Pens $20.00
8 INFUN Dry Erase Pockets - 20 Pack $20.00
9 Board Geeks Dry Erase Lapboard 9 x 12 inch Large 25 Pack double-sided Whiteboard $40.00
10 NewPath Learning - 94-8001 Our Solar System Bulletin Board Charts: 3 Double-Sided, Laminated Science Charts Cover Earth – Inside & Out; Solar System; Sun, Earth & Moon $20.00
11 AmazonBasics Magnetic Dry Erase Boards, 24" x 36", Aluminum Frame (4 boards) $120.00
12 Arteza Magnetic Dry Erase Markers with Eraser, Pack of 24 (4 sets) $60.00
  Total: $775.00

50% Funded

 

 

Only $387.50 Needed

 

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