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How the Television Show “MythBusters” Communicates the Scientific
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The importance of understanding and internalizing the scientific method can hardly be
exaggerated. Unfortunately, it is all too common for high school—and even
university—students to graduate with only a partial or oversimplified understanding of what
the scientific method is and how to actually employ it. Help in remedying this situation
may come from an unlikely source: television. One television show that is conspicuously good at communicating the
scientific method in an easy-to-understand, pedantic-free, entertaining manner is the
Discovery Channel's “MythBusters,” which began airing in 2003 and continues to produce new
episodes. In this content analysis, episodes of the popular program were analyzed for
aspects of the scientific method. In addition, segments from the show were used in a
classroom activity to introduce the scientific method and the concept of experimental
controls to high
school physics students.
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