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NOVA Quiz, The

Classroom Activity

To find and explain scientific accuracies within two illustrations.

Materials for each team
  • copy of "Accuracy of Observation" student handouts
    Handout 1 ( HTML)
    Handout 2 ( HTML)
  1. One skill involved in critical viewing is analyzing visual clues. The pictures in the "Accuracy of Observation" student handouts resemble those used to determine the final winner on "The NOVA Quiz."

  2. Each picture includes several items that are scientifically incorrect. Photocopy the pictures and challenge your students to circle and explain the eight scientific inaccuracies found in each.

Activity Answer

For the indoor scene drawing:

  1. The letters under the hand lens are facing in the wrong direction.

  2. There is not February 29 in 1994.

  3. The water level in the container should not be slanted.

  4. The reflection of sunlihgt should be directed straight at the viewer.

  5. The window is closed, so the curtains should not be blowing.

  6. The shadow of the magnifying glass should be bent over the pencil.

  7. Quart equals 16 oz., not 6.

  8. The sun would not be in front of the clouds.

For the outdoor scene drawing:

  1. Penguins don't fly.

  2. Pumpkins don't grow on trees.

  3. The wind couldn't blow the sail one way and the kite in the other direction.

  4. Spiders have only two body parts, not three.

  5. Magnets cannot be attracted to plants.

  6. The shadow of the sundial is reversed.

  7. Helicopters need a back rotor to keep stable.

Teacher's Guide
NOVA Quiz, The

Video is not required for this activity