Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version



Published in THE SCIENCE TEACHER 65:7 (October 1998), pp. 49-51. Copyright 1998 National Science Teachers Association.


SPACE EXPLORATION HAS SPAWNED MORE interest in science among teachers and students than any other topic in recent science education history, and teachers can use space science as an opportunity to encourage students to observe and make new discoveries for themselves. Many times, however, we run into obstacles. One trend we have noticed is that students can form misunderstandings based on simplistic explanations such as catchy astronomy activities on the back of cereal boxes, cartoon renderings of life on the Moon, or linear models in textbooks depicting the Solar System. These misrepresentations of science present problems for instructors.