Parents stumped by children's science questions

Posted by Emma Woollacott

More than half of parents are filled with fear when asked scientific questions by their kids, a British survey has found.

Almost a third of the 2,000 parents surveyed by the Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair said they were grilled on a daily basis.

The problem stumping the largest number was "Why is the moon sometimes out in the day?", followed by "Why is the sky blue?".

Next came "Will we ever discover aliens?", "How much does the earth weigh?" and "How do aeroplanes stay in the air?"

While a third of parents say they take the trouble to find out the answer, they're outnumbered by those using sneakier tactics.

A fifth admitted to making up answers or pretending nobody knows, and one in six told the child to ask the other parent.

Apparently, more than a quarter of parents think their children know more about maths and science than they do.

"Inquisitive minds are fantastic, but clever questions can often leave parents in a tricky situation if they don’t have the answers," says physicist professor Brian Cox, Big Bang spokesperson.

"The best thing parents can do is work with their children to find the answers – not only can it be fun, but you’ll both learn something new along the way."

Clearly, TG Daily readers are spectacularly well-versed in the sciences. But, just in case, here are the answers.

When the sun's rays hit it, it's visible; blue light from the sun gets scattered more than red; nobody knows; a trillion metric tons; and the air's channeled under the plane's wings to generate lift.

All a bit simplistic, perhaps, but it'll do for a five-year-old, surely?