Teacher’s Questions for Fuzzy Future | Science News for Students

Teacher’s Questions for Fuzzy Future

May 22, 2013 — 3:15 pm EST

Before reading:

1. Do you need to wear glasses or contact lenses, and if so, to correct for what type of vision impairment?

2. What do you think is the primary cause of vision problems in you and/or your classmates: genes (do one or both of your parents have the same eye problem?) — or something else?

During reading:

1. What is nearsightedness, or myopia?

2. How is the number of myopia diagnoses changing over time? What age group is most affected? And what countries show an especially big rate of change?

3. What do a growing number of researchers believe may be the cause of this change in myopia?

4. What is “near work”?

5. Describe the eye shape of someone who is nearsighted.

6. Where do images focus in the eyes of those who are nearsighted?

7. Have rates of myopia increased or decreased in urban areas? In rural areas?

8. Name three eye disorders for which people with myopia have an increased risk as they age.

9. A few decades ago, what did researchers think was the primary cause of myopia?

10. Do scientists currently think the rise in myopia is primarily genetic? Explain why or why not.

11. Studies in animals found that bright light triggered the release of what compound? What role does it play in myopia?

12. Based on what you’ve read, which activity would over time put more strain on your eyes: watching TV in a low-lit room or playing chess in the park?

13. What is peripheral vision?

14. In which environment do you have a more uniform field of vision — indoors or outside?

15. What kind of vision did our ancestors use more often? Why?

After reading:

1. What other modern behaviors are very different from those of our ancient ancestors? How might those differences harm the health of people today? How might those differences benefit the health of people today?


1. Why do you think children are increasingly spending less time outside and more time indoors, doing near work?

2. Can you think of two ways you could change your behavior so that you spend more time outdoors and less time doing near work?

3. Design a campaign to get your peers and family members outdoors more. Explain the justification you will use. Develop posters that list facts on the benefits of getting out more.