Seeing Life Through the Eyes of Kids
Beguiling Ideas about Science

The beguiling ideas about science quoted here were collected from essays, exams, and class room discussions; most were from fifth- and sixth-graders.   They illustrate Mark Twain's contention that the "most interesting information comes from children, for they tell all they know and then stop."

  • One horsepower is the amount of energy it takes to drag a horse 500 feet in one second.
  • You can listen to thunder after lightening and tell how close you came to getting hit. If you don't hear it you got hit, so never mind.
  • When they broke open molecules, they found they were only stuffed with atoms. But when they broke open atoms, they found them stuffed with explosions.
  • When people run around and around in circles we say they are crazy. When planets do it we say they are orbiting.
  • Most books now say our sun is a star. But it still knows how to change back into a sun in the daytime.
  • Many dead animals of the past changed to fossils, others preferred to be oil.
  • Vacuums are nothings. We only mention them to let them know we know they're there.
  • Some people can tell what time it is by looking at the sun. But I have never been able to make out the numbers.
  • We say the cause of perfume disappearing is evaporation.   Evaporation gets blamed for a lot of things people forget to put the top on.
  • I am not sure how clouds get formed. But the clouds know how to do it, and that is the important thing.
  • Cyanide is so poisonous that one drop of it on a dog's tongue will kill the strongest man.
  • Thunder is a rich source of loudness.
  • Isotherms and isobars are even more important than their names sound.
  • It is so hot in some parts of the world that the people there have to live other places.
  • Our new teacher told us all about fossils. Before she came to our class, I didn't know what a fossil looked like.
  • Pavlov studied the salvation of dogs.
  • A molecule is so small that it can't be seen by the naked observer.
  • In biology today, we digested a frog.
  • To prevent head colds, use an agonizer to spray into your nose until it drops down into your throat.

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