102 Facts every American high school graduate should know

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Category: American Education
Published on Saturday, 26 May 2012 Written by Anonymous Teacher

Here's a fun bunch of questions from my pal Bruce over at Improve-Education.org. It's a list of 102 facts every American high school graduate should know.

If you've graduated from high school in the US, try to answer these questions yourself. How many do you think you could have answered directly after high school?

If you're a parent of a child in an American high school, see how many of these questions your child can answer. Chances are, your precious little Johnny or Suzie isn't learning as much as you'd hope he is.

  1. Paper is mainly made from what?
  2. How many stars are on the US flag?
  3. How many stripes are on the US flag?
  4. 9 times 9 equals what?
  5. Clouds are made of what?
  6. Shakespeare wrote in which language?
  7. Diamonds and coal are made of what?
  8. A hexagon has how many sides?
  9. The Romans were famous for their aqueducts. True or false? 
  10. How many pounds in a ton?
  11. Napoleon ruled what country?
  12. Water boils at what temperature? 
  13. Australia is the same width as the United States--which is about 1000 miles, 2000 miles, or 3000 miles? 
  14. The average of 6, 10 and 14 is what?
  15. Non-fiction means that it’s true or that it’s false?
  16. What is the chemical composition of water?
  17. Name an important event that occurred during the 19th century.
  18. If it’s winter in the northern hemisphere, in the southern hemisphere it’s what season? 
  19. Ants and flies are examples of what?
  20. The Amazon flows into what body of water?
  21. Name a famous American novel written before 1990. 
  22. A constellation is what? 
  23. The body of water to the west of California is what?
  24. The Pilgims came from what country?
  25. The two sides in the American Civil War were called what?
  26. Bats can see in the dark. True or false?
  27. Which brothers invented the airplane?
  28. Sharks are fish but whales are mammals. True or false?
  29. 2 to the third power equals 8, 10 or 12?
  30. President Kennedy was killed in what city?
  31. Name an “Old World” country.
  32. Name a “New World” country.
  33. A caterpillar becomes a what?
  34. The US Supreme Court has how many justices?
  35. An acre is roughly the size of a baseball diamond, a football field or a typical city block?
  36. Rembrandt was famous for his what? 
  37. What’s the difference between a hurricane and a typhoon?
  38. The Taj Mahal is in what country? 
  39. The moon is one quarter, one half, or the same size as the Earth?
  40. Name three planets besides the Earth.
  41. Fish breathe with their what?
  42. Abraham Lincoln was President in 1855, 1865, or 1875?
  43. A camel can walk a long way without what?
  44. The shortest distance between two points is called what?
  45. Give an example of precipitation.
  46. What is the Southern Cross?
  47. Name a major desert.
  48. The Great Pyramids are located in what country?
  49. In New York City the shortest day of the year occurs around what date?
  50. Washington, DC is located on what river?
  51. The US national anthem is what?
  52. Who ordered the German invasion of Russia in 1941?
  53. Which countries border the USA?
  54. The Leaning Tower of Pisa is in what country?
  55. The deepest spot in the ocean is about 3 miles, 7 miles or 11 miles?
  56. How many days from one full moon to the next?
  57. Roughly how much of the Earth is covered by water? 30%? 50%? 70%?
  58. The tallest mountain on this planet is what?
  59. Name three of the countries that make up Scandinavia.
  60. Wall Street is located in what city?
  61. Hollywood is located in what state?
  62. How many quarts in a gallon?
  63. The Eiffel Tower can be found where?
  64. The pole vault record is approximately 15’, 20’ or 25’?
  65. The most famous canal in the Western Hemisphere is where?
  66. How many times zones in the USA?
  67. Name six continents.
  68. Which is bigger, a virus or a bacterium?
  69. There’s more gravity on Jupiter than on Earth. Why?
  70. Which country has the largest population?
  71. Name three oceans.
  72. How many days in a year?
  73. In 1492 Columbus sailed in which direction?
  74. A baseball game has how many innings?
  75. In much of the world, soccer is called what?
  76. What is the capital of Mexico?
  77. E pluribus unum means what?
  78. A spider web is made out of what?
  79. Mussolini ruled what country?
  80. The Great Wall is located where?
  81. The Continental Divide is where?
  82. Antartica is primarily ice or land?
  83. What is a syllable? Give an example.
  84. Quote a line of American poetry.
  85. Name something that Thomas Edison invented.
  86. If the groundhog sees his shadow on Groundhog Day, what does this mean?
  87. The Nile River is almost the same length as the Missouri/Mississippi River combination -- about 2000 miles, 3000 miles, or 4000 miles?
  88. USA stands for what?
  89. CNN stands for what?
  90. MPG stands for what?
  91. Italy juts into what body of water?
  92. 1776 was a bad year in British history. Why? 
  93. The car and the airplane were made possible by a third invention. What was it?
  94. Sci-fi stands for what?
  95. The equator separates what from what?
  96. The Roaring Twenties occurred between what two wars?
  97. What leader was the biggest mass murderer in history? (Three names are arguably correct.)
  98. Name four of the major religions.
  99. A typical car engine has 4, 6 or 8 what?
  100. Which Super Bowl was Super Bowl XXIV?
  101. The emperor who fiddled while Rome burned was named what? 
  102. Fencing is a sport, criminal activity, or light construction? (Okay, that’s sort of a trick question.)

You can see Bruce's comments at http://improve-education.org/id37.html

One of his insights is that Educationists tend to argue against having kids actually learn anything.

Educators will counter, “They don’t need to memorize anything. They can look it up.” But will they? No, people usually muddle through with what they actually have in their heads.

I couldn't agree more. I actually have sort of a funny story about that. I worked in a place where we wrote little bios of ourselves and posted them on the wall. I wrote a fake bio for one of my co-workers that described her as, among other things, callipygous.

Quite a few people read this bio and just skipped over the word callipygous without asking what it meant. Only my co-worker herself asked. It means having a great ass.

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