Cosmos Episode 7 Viewing Worksheet

Neil deGrasse Tyson
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey Episode 107. (FOX)

The seventh episode of the first season of Fox's science-based television series "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey" hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson makes an excellent teaching tool in several different disciplines. The episode, entitled "The Clean Room " deals with many different science topics (like geology and radiometric dating) as well as good lab technique (minimizing contamination of samples and repeating experiments) and also public health and creation of policies.

Not only does it dive into the great science of these subjects, but also the politics and ethics behind scientific research.

No matter if you are showing the video as a treat for the class or as a way to reinforce lessons or units you are studying, assessment of the understanding of the ideas in the show is important. Use the questions below to help with your evaluation. They can be copy and pasted into a worksheet and tweaked as necessary to fit your needs.

Cosmos Episode 7 Worksheet                            Name:___________________

 

Directions: Answer the questions as you watch episode 7 of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

 

1.  What is happening to the Earth at its very beginnings?

 

2. What date for the beginning of the Earth did James Ussher give based on his study of the Bible?

 

3.  What type of life was dominant in the Precambrian Time?

 

4.  Why is figuring out the age of the Earth by counting the layers of rock not accurate?

 

5. Between what two planets do we find the leftover “brick and mortar” from making the Earth?

 

6. What stable element does Uranium break down into after about 10 transformations?

 

7.  What happened to the rocks that were around at the birth of the Earth?

 

8. On what famous project did Clare Patterson and his wife work together?

 

9.  What kind of crystals did Harrison Brown ask Clare Patterson to work on?

 

10. What conclusion did Clare Patterson come to about why his repeated experiments gave wildly different data about lead?

 

11. What did Clare Patterson need to build before he could completely rule out lead contamination in his sample?

 

12. Who are two of the scientists Clare Patterson thanks as he waits for his sample to finish in the spectrometer?

 

13. What was the true age of the Earth found to be and who was the first person he told?

 

14. Who is the Roman god of lead?

 

15. What modern holiday did Saturnalia turn into?

 

16. What is the “bad” side of the god Saturn similar to?

 

17. Why is lead poisonous to humans?

 

18. Why did Thomas Midgley and Charles Kettering add lead to gasoline?

 

19. Why was Dr. Kehoe hired by GM?

 

20. What organization gave Clare Patterson the grant to study the amount of lead in the ocean?

 

21. How did Clare Patterson conclude the oceans were being contaminated by leaded gasoline?

 

22. When the petroleum corporations took away their funding for Patterson’s research, who stepped in to fund him?

 

23. What did Patterson find in the polar ice?

 

24. How long did Patterson have to fight before lead was banned from gasoline?

 

25. How much did lead poisoning in children drop after lead was banned?