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Fifth-Grader Spots Science Textbook Mistake

Updated: Apr 25, 2023

Paramount Plus called its TV quiz show Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? for a good reason. This story demonstrates that the answer is frequently 'no', as a Virginia elementary school student has just reminded everyone of that after getting a science book publisher to acknowledge a mistake in his class’s textbook.

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Liam Squires, a fifth-grader at HM Pearson elementary school near Washington DC, recently earned a write-up on the local Fauquier Times news website after noticing that his school’s Exploring Science All Around Us textbook had incorrectly labelled pictures of an igneous rock and a sedimentary rock - getting their descriptions back to front.

Squires told his teacher, Serena Porter, and at first she thought that perhaps she had taught her students incorrectly about the rocks. But, she checked the textbook page with the rocks’ pictures and realized her smart and observant pupil was absolutely right.

Porter said she notified her school’s instructional supervisor for science, who in turn contacted the textbook’s publisher, Five Ponds Press.

Five Ponds officials ultimately sent Liam a letter thanking him for “paying such close attention in class” and expressing their gratitude for his catching the mistake in the textbook, according to the Fauquier Times.

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