Back To Top

Photo: Dr. Martin Kelly

“Mythbusters” TV Show Key Part of Learning

Buffalo, New York – April 7, 2016 – An article by a D’Youville professor and two administrators is published in the current edition of Opportunity Matters: Journal of Access and Opportunity in Education.

Titled Upward Bound “Mythbusters” Integrate Knowledge with Skill in Science and Mathematics by Dr. Martin Kelly, associate professor of biology, Antwan K. Barlow, Director of Upward Bound and Benjamin L. Randle III, Assistant Director, Veterans Services Office, used an investigative curriculum with high school students in an Upward Bound Program where they were taught quantitative processes shared in science and mathematics.

The mathematics content was limited to what is required in introductory college biology laboratory courses.

The television show “Mythbusters” was used to present the scientific method to summer program participants. (“Mythbusters” is recognized as a scientific documentary series by the National Science Foundation).

A laboratory activity that tested the students ability to accurately predict adult human height was used to reinforce student understanding of linear metric units, calculation of averages, estimation of frequency, parts and notation of fractions, calculation of proportions and percentages, the relation between proportions and percentages, the interpretation of proportions and percentages, graphing data, and accepting or rejection a scientific hypothesis, according to the abstract.

After instruction, students stated an increased understanding of this quantitative content.

Dr. Kelly taught a six-week science course for students in D’Youville’s Upward Bound Program. He developed a course focusing on data analysis and presentation shared in science and mathematics. This course was taught during the summers of 2009 and 2013. “We presented “mythbusting” as an effective practice suited for use by high school and college faculty who are teaching science and mathematics to the diversity of students in today’s classrooms,” he said.

Previous research describes how high school science teachers can use “Mythbusters” as an engagingly accurate cultural representation of science and engineering, and motivate students to enroll in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) in college.

“It's a professional privilege to publish this article with my colleagues at Upward Bound. They have given me the freedom to teach a variety of classes in a variety of ways,” Dr Kelly said. “I appreciate their efforts and success in providing increased academic, social, and employment skills to disadvantaged high school students. They motivate these students to complete high school and then go on as the first generation of students in their family to go to college.”


Dr. Martin Kelly
Phone: 716-829-7885 or