Have you ever wondered whether you have extra sensory perception or psychic powers? This module from the James Randi Educational Foundation asks that question and encourages students to come to their own conclusions about whether ESP is a real phenomenon, and whether it applies to them or their peers. It does this through several carefully designed experiments and teaches about how to critically evaluate the results of scientific experiments, being aware of things like bias and fraud.
The module is designed for grades 9- 12 for use in biology or psychology classes and could take one or two lessons of about one hour each, depending on how much depth the teacher wants to go into with the introduction and how many trials the students perform. Both the teacher and student guides are free to download from the JREF website. They contain an explanation of what ESP is thought to be with examples from pop culture and a brief outline of modern research into the idea, complete with illustrations, as well instructions on several experiments to try.
This course is a quirky, fun way to teach children about the scientific method in general.
The James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) is an organisation that was originally set up by former magician James Randi in order to educate the public about pseudoscience and critical thinking and to support research into paranormal claims in under controlled, scientific conditions. It provides several free educational modules for students of different ages, including primary school and high school students and adult education, all of which can be downloaded for free from the JREF website.