Is that true?

In this activity, students explore whether statements made by the news and media on climate change-related issues are actually true. Examples are provided for Antarctic sea ice and hurricane intensity, but the activity could be extended to other topics as well.

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Steve Hoven
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
On the Cutting Edge

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Teaching Tips

Teaching Tips

This activity can be used in conjunction with almost any climate or energy topic and helps students apply scientific concepts to topics in the media. This can be an effective way to engage students with the topics, and help them see how climate and energy are closely tied to current events and news stories.

This activity can be helpful for dislodging misconceptions and for arming students with the skills needed to defend scientific thinking. However, educators should be sensitive to the idea that some students hold onto ideas due to values and ideology, and science may not be the only factor in influencing people's opinions. Care should be taken to be considerate of students' personal values.

It is very important to guide students toward credible sources of information, especially at the high school level, otherwise students' Internet searches may unwittingly reinforce a misconception.

Guidelines for assessing what is "true" would be helpful, especially at the high school level.