ERIC Number: EJ919415
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Apr
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 18
How the Discovery Channel Television Show "Mythbusters" Accurately Depicts Science and Engineering Culture
Zavrel, Erik A.
Journal of Science Education and Technology, v20 n2 p201-207 Apr 2011
High school science teachers, of course, want to motivate their students to consider studying science and engineering (S&E) in college. However, many high school students are not familiar with what science and engineering actually entail. They may know science as little more than "systematic discovery" and engineering as nothing but "math-intensive design." Without appreciation for the rich culture of science and engineering, students will be unlikely to choose such a field of study. The Discovery Channel television show "Mythbusters" helps remedy the lack of understanding many people, especially young people, have about S&E. "Mythbusters" presents a highly accurate vignette of the culture of science and engineering. Episodes of the show were analyzed for instances in which the culture of science and engineering was accurately depicted. Many resources, including several publications of the National Research Council, informed the media analysis. To encourage more high school students to pursue S&E in college, they need to be exposed to the culture of S&E. Mythbusters provides a window into the often unseen realm of science and engineering, allowing its viewers, who are disproportionately represented among the young adult age bracket, to see what it means to conduct science and engineering on a routine basis. High school science instructors should look to "Mythbusters" to provide insight into the culture of S&E that textbooks often have difficulty conveying to students.
Descriptors: High Schools, Textbooks, Young Adults, Engineering, Science Teachers, High School Students, Engineering Education, Secondary School Teachers, Educational Television
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A