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Pseudoscience Research Project

We have spent several days discussing the nature of science and the scientific method. As you might expect there are many examples which masquerade as science, but are not. These are commonly known as pseudoscience. It is important to be able to distinguish between the two. Critical to distinguishing between science and pseudoscience is:

bulletEvaluating your hypotheses in light of all available data.
bulletFormulating testable hypotheses
bulletReevaluating your assumptions and dogma

This Research Project will involving using the internet at the Media Center.

  1. You can choose one of the following pseudoscience topics:
  2. UFO site 1    UFO site 2    Loch Ness Monster     Atlantis, the Lost City
    Astrology    Healing Touch    Dowsing    Palm Reading
    Bermuda Triangle    Area 51, Roswell, New Mexico, 1947

  3. Collect information on your topic. Use the web page I created for you as your starting place

    Be very careful, and stay on the links I have provided.

          The information needs to be organized on note cards or paper. It should include

    1. General information
    2. Resources documented
    3. Evidence given
  1. Presentation: Choose one of the following formats to present the information you have gathered about your topic. Presentations with formats a through f should incorporate the five analysis questions a through e given below.
  1. Video clip. Maximum time 7 minutes. The video format could be presented either as a special news report or talk show.
  2. Bulletin Board. Design an informational bulletin board covering your topic.
  3. Newspaper page. Design a newspaper page giving several different articles about your topic. At least one of the articles needs to point out the weaknesses in your topic.
  4. Comic strip. Design an informative comic strip. (The comic strip could be used as part of the newspaper page format.)
  5. Power Point. Design a computer presentation using Power Point.
  6. Board Game. Construct an informative board game.
  7. Experiment. Design and implement an experiment to test the validity of claims made about your topic. Write up the experiment giving steps followed, data, and conclusion. This format will work best with topics such as Astrology, Dowsing, and Healing Touch.

Questions to be answered are:

  1. Why do people believe in this topic?
  2. What, if any, scientific evidence is there to support this topic?
  3. What supportive scientific evidence is missing?
  4. What steps of the scientific method need to be completed to give credibility to this topic?
  5. What questions remain unanswered?
  6. As a result of your investigation, what are your thoughts on the validity of this topic?

Your project will be assessed as follows:


The following criteria will be used to evaluate the research:

  1. References documented.
  2. Adequate number of sources used.
  3. Completion of Analysis questions.

The following criteria will be used to evaluate presentations a through f:

  1. Analysis questions addressed.
  2. Creativity.
  3. Time and Effort.

The following criteria will be used to evaluate the experiment format (g):

  1. Scientific method clearly followed.
  2. Variables controlled.
  3. Conclusion is valid.