Take chances, make mistakes, and get messy

Magic School Bus

From Magic School Bus:

Take chances, make mistakes, and get messy.

Magic School Bus is an educational television show for children. The quote above is often repeated by the main character of the show, Ms. Frizzle.

Too many programs that supposedly teach science only teach results from science. Magic School Bus does both. It teaches specific facts, such as the names of the planets, but it also teaches that science is about taking chances, making mistakes, and getting messy.

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7 thoughts on “Take chances, make mistakes, and get messy

  1. I try to teach my calculus students that lesson. It’s the key to higher mathematics as well as science.

  2. I love that quote. My oldest daughter was in a gifted program when we moved away from southern California to a small town. After the first semester I asked her how science was at her school (her old school was known for its program). She said she didn’t have science at her new school. When I pointed out that she had made an A in it she replied, “We don’t do science at my new school. We just read books about it.”

  3. Your point is unclear. All is about scale. Sometimes your mind should be free of details. If you know too much you’ll never discover something extraordinary. I would prefer children to be fluent with results than be scared away of science by gory details.

    Moreover, I think the whole concept of studying science via TV is wrong. TV should attract, not teach or provide experience. Sergey Kapitsa’s show (most popular scientific show of all times in the USSR) has grown generations of scientists never teaching something.

  4. Ha! I am not a supporter of that.

    I like the show but the quote is inappropriate, especially when it come to science. Science is not about making mistakes, science is all about avoiding unnecessary mistakes while continuing to learn about the world.

    Sometimes, mistake happens, but that never is the intention and science learn from that mistake to avoid similar mistakes while still learn about new stuff.

  5. I love this quote. I do not take it as a command to make mistakes as if the mistake is the goal, but exuberant permission and encouragement to try without being afraid of mistakes… which fear stops progress in any endeavor. Thomas Edison would love it…GREAT show!

  6. Patricia Carmichael

    The biggest show stopper for ANYTHING is fear of failure especially for those students who have been labeled “gifted”. That fear dominates and paralyzes any action towards creative problem solving because the outcome is unknown and there in lies the risk of loosing that “gifted” status or having someone else observe it. Emphasizing experimentation or the process rather than the end product goes a long way towards squelching the fear of failure.

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