New misconceptions from teenager trends

Students often have naïve ideas based on their life experiences and encounters. In fact, I recently noticed one of my own, says former teacher Jess Howell, now manager of the IOPSpark website. 

New misconceptions from teenager trends

Many students think metals are poor conductors/good insulators because of the design of modern water bottles.

Sitting on my balcony, I wondered whether my neighbour below could see my legs dangling down as he sits in his living room – initially I thought not, but then I realised that his field of view includes rays entering the window from above and not just in front of him. I hadn’t connected this basic concept to my everyday life because I’d never had a balcony before.

On IOPSpark, we’ve built a bank of naïve ideas – or misconceptions - extracted from hundreds of studies. However, the world around us is constantly changing, including the science curriculum itself. We asked teachers to tell us about new misconceptions they have spotted and have begun to publish. 

A great example was noticed only recently despite the author’s 20+ years of experience: students thinking that metals are poor conductors/good insulators because of the new trend for insulated water bottles, where the outside layer is often made from metal.

Tell us about any new misconceptions spotted amongst your students, we’d be very keen to publish them!

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