The Errors of Television Science

Last night I wrote a post about teaching forensic science through CSI Web Adventures. Those web adventures contain accurate science facts. However, the television show – as one of my colleagues often points out – often uses inaccurate science. This morning on Open Culture I saw this video from the Fox Sports Network’s television show Sports Science. I had heard some of the “facts” from this episode mentioned by one of football experts on ESPN last week, but this morning was the first time I watched the Sports Science show.

I can’t speak to the accuracy of the football science in the video, but as someone who trained with members of the 1996 and 2000 Olympic archery teams I can tell you that the archery references are completely inaccurate. In Olympic competition arrows are shot 70 meters (or 229.7 feet) not 20 yards (or sixty feet) as mentioned in the video. In the video they also use stock imagery of archery equipment which is not Olympic-style equipment.

Applications for Education
CSI and the Sports Science video prove what we already know, don’t trust everything you see on television. As I was watching the video above I couldn’t help but think that a lesson plan could be developed using by using a MythBusters approach to television or Internet videos. Select a television episode or video and have students fact check the “science” presented in the episode.


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