Read this and weep. A name-that-historical-giant quiz administered to 1,000 British schoolkids elicited these scary answers:
Buzz Lightyear and Luke Skywalker were named as the first man on the moon.
Sir Isaac Newton invented fire. Some kids thought that he had invented the internet. (But, hey, let’s give credit were credit is due…shout out to Al Gore!)
Most of the kids did label Alexander Graham Bell as the inventor of the telephone, but the Queen of England and Charles Darwin were credited by others.
Dr. Pam Waddell of Birmingham Science City, which developed the survey, feels that kids are more tuned in to sports or music heroes than leaders of science–hence the wacky answers. Sadly, I can’t believe the answers would be much different here in the U.S.
Dr. Waddell did find a silver lining:
“Nearly 70% of 9- and 10-year-olds would like to be famous for winning a Nobel Prize in science.”
They’d better get cracking…