Feeds

What powers a solar-powered snail, kids?

Dumb and dumber science exams

Security for virtualized datacentres

Boffins have slammed examiners in England for setting school children seriously dumb questions.

The Royal Chemistry Society said that the science exams for 14 year olds includes questions such as, "What powers a solar-powered snail?"

The Society's chief executive Dr Richard Pike told us that while the syllabus and text books covered a broad range of scientific subjects, the exams only touched on a small subset of these. As an example, the Society notes that one examination only asked questions about length, volume, mass and temperature, while the text book covered electrical current and resistance, pressure, rotational moment, and deriving.

The most taxing maths in the examination required students to find the mid point between 4 and 8 - by reading off a figure in an adjacent column.

The snail question was set for tiers 3-6 in Key Stage 3.

Other examples include these multiple choice questions:

Why is copper used for wires in a circuit?

  • Copper does not stick to a magnet
  • Copper is a brown metal
  • Copper is a good conductor of electricity
  • Copper is a good conductor of heat

In very cold weather a mixture of salt and sand is spread on roads. Why?

  • Salt makes the roads white
  • Salt makes water freeze
  • Salt makes ice melt
  • Sand dissolves in water
  • Sand increases friction between car tyres and the road
  • Sand makes water freeze

And this one, inspired by Father Ted, perhaps:

Some stars are bigger than the Sun but they look smaller. Why do they look smaller than the Sun?

  • They are brighter than the Sun
  • They are further away than the Sun
  • They are the same colour as the Sun
  • They are nearer than the Sun

That foxes me every time.

But seriously - who benefits most in the future from a population too dumb to distinguish between science and pseudoscience? Answers on a solar-powered snail, please. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
'Duck face' selfie in SPAAAACE: Rosetta's snap with bird comet
Probe prepares to make first landing on fast-moving rock
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
LOHAN invites ENTIRE REG READERSHIP to New Mexico shindig
Well, those of you who back our Kickstarter tin-rattling...
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.