The car catalyst–students’ misconceptions and how to challenge them



The objective of this study was to find out what students already know about the car catalyst in order to design a module to pass on the scientific mental model to them. Therefore a questionnaire was given to students in 9th, 10th and 11th grade pupils. Questions referred to what happens inside a catalyst with the incoming gases. The misconception of a filter or a further combustion engine could be localized. According to the students the catalyst is equipped with netting which slices the molecules. According to the misconceptions received a topic was designed to overcome and cure these concepts and to clarify and give the pupils a valid picture of what happens inside the catalyst. In a post-test results are discussed


Chemical education; car catalyst; students’ misconceptions; mental models

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Re S M ICT E | ISSN: 1792-3999 (electronic), 1791-261X (print) | Laboratory of Didactics of Sciences, Mathematics and ICT, Department of Educational Sciences and Early Childhood Education - University of Patras.

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