Sunday, February 6, 2011

Using Mythbusters in the Classroom

I've been using episodes of the Mythbusters in my class for a couple of years now. I thought I'd share what I've learned, and open up the floor to hear about what other folks are doing...

My first goal is to create a table that shows which episodes are on which "Collection" DVD. I've been using Netflix to show them in class, but find that it takes a lot of cross referencing to figure out which episode is included in which "collection". Mostly these days I have them downloaded via amazon on demand, but I'd like to make it easier for other teachers to use the content I've already tracked down.

My next goal will be to tag each episode with relevant curriculum ideas/standards. For example, Penny Drop I use to teach several different things: gravity, inertia, experiment design... but I would like to have a way to look for things like "using ballistics gel" and "Adam gets hurt" and "modified gun". Maybe I'll make a database...

Finally, I plan to post lesson plans and/or worksheets that can be used for each episode.

Part of the fun of using Mythbusters in the classroom lies in having students "bust" the science used on the show. How did Adam and/or Jaime and/or Kari/Tori/Grant get it wrong? Are there better tests for the myth being tested?

I am not sure what I'm going to do about drug/alcohol/sex-related episodes. I avoid them in class, but realize that they are rather appealing for some content areas... I'll just have to see how it goes.


  1. Have you ever thought about creating your own myths and have the students investigate? I am currently looking into this for a grade 5 class.

  2. Hey there, I'm a Physics teacher in Newcastle, England and was hoping to talk to you about your ideas with Mythbusters. Please message me if this sounds o.k to you? :) Kind Regards,

  3. This sick physics teacher thanks you a million times for your PDF worksheet for any episode. You're saving my life!


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