Education: Lessons From On High

Project STAR takes aim at some popular misconceptions

"Don't put the earth upside down," warns Mark Petricone as his 13 students struggle with coat hangers and pliers. "And remember, folks, the earth isn't really in the middle of the universe. This is an incorrect scale model, but astronomers have been using it for a couple of thousand years."

The goal for the juniors and seniors at Watertown High in Watertown, Mass., is to mount a thimble-size metal earth on a coat hanger in the middle of a melon-size clear-plastic sphere that is supposed to be the universe. The students then use Magic Markers to trace onto the universe a...

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