Mary, I had a similar experience with science in grade school. They never
taught the astronomy parts, so my science projects were always about star
charts, optics and other things the teacher could not understand at
all. She just doled out an A to me because she figured if it were too
complicated for her, it was correct. The fact was somewhat different, but
I never complained. I was unhappy for years that NASA would not take a
partially blind person into the astronaut program. I did make my share of
model rockets and police departments around where I lived now and then got
calls about strange lights in the sky Of course, when I learned to make
mercury fulmonate bombs and have them detonate at about 5000 feet, that
really elicited many phone calls to the local constabulary.
My virginal experience with science fiction was with the movie, The Day the Earth Stood Still. Gort, Clatu barrata nikto.