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All That Glitters is Not Gold. Extending Scientific Thinking to Analyze Manufacturers’ Claims on Consumer Products

Every public forum is populated with advertisements for artificial products that claim to correct or enhance body features. Scientific method provides an approach through which scientific questions can be answered. This approach can be extended to real world choices like one that requires a consumer to decide on whether or not to use an artificial product based on the manufacturers’ claims. Given that high school students are required to learn the scientific method, it would add value to their learning experience if the application of this method is connected to their real world choices. The purpose of this unit is to encourage high school students to use the scientific method approach to make rational choices when they are targeted by these manufacturers though advertisements.

This unit employs a case study in which a student appealing commercial is used to model how scientific thinking can be applied in real life situations. The unit can be integrated at any point of the scientific courses within the high school curriculum.  Since the first topic of all the high school science courses is scientific method, it is recommended that this unit be taught within this first topic.

Naomi Mureria
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