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WHAT IS SCIENCE FICTION?

Science fiction predicts change, explores consequences, and studies potential futures. It teaches adaptability and open mindedness in the face of change. It performs "imaginary experiments" to see how people react to change before the change actually happens, and provides a different perspective on our world. Science fiction writers see the future as a consequence of our present day. In this light, it is also a vehicle for social analysis and an opportunity to experiment with new concepts and their effects on humanity and the world. Science fiction presents many issues from many different points of view for us to examine.

Teaching science fiction through books, stories, movies, interactive media and art engages learners on a number of levels. Science fiction can provide a starting point for a multi-disciplinary curriculum that investigates issues, explores the natural world, and teaches critical thinking skills. Good science fiction introduces themes of personal integrity, relationships (human and alien), acceptance of other life forms and cultures, and our responsibility for technological change. It is entertaining, but it also presents ideas and alternatives.

From the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame in Seattle, Washington


Science fiction can be used to teach all the social and physical sciences, math, technology, history, futurism, philosophy, sociology, ethics, ecology, reading skills, English, creative writing and more. 

Frequently, yesterday's Science Fiction is today's Science Fact.  Science Fiction is an excellent theme for an interdisciplinary unit, easily incorporating all the disciplines, and especially lending itself to the use of multimedia and media literacies in exciting ways!  -

Disciplines that students will need in order to answer the Big Questions for this theme include:   Astronomy, Biology, Botany, Chemistry, Physics, Algebra, Geometry, Calculus, Civics, Ecology, History, Geography, Economics, Philosophy, Sociology, all the Language Arts (research, writing, teaching, etc.), Health and PE, Social Issues, Cultures and more!

21st century skills  -  teaching, videography, filmmaking, web design, organizing events (Science Fiction Fair and/or Student Film Festival), television and radio production, and even a cooking show a la Alton Brown of Good Eats  -  sample recipes such as these items served at Quark's Restaurant in Las Vegas . . . The Wrap of Kahn, Hamborger, Tribble Tenders,  . . .

 

Planning a Science Fiction Unit  -

These former exhibit themes from the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame would be a good way to organize your Expert Groups.  These themes are Homeworld, Fantastic Voyages, Brave New Worlds and Them! 

 

Homeworld - where adventures to the unknown begin and end.

 

 

Fantastic Voyages - where your journey of discovery takes off

 

Brave New Worlds - how should we live, and what are the consequences of the choices we make?

 

Them!  -  sometimes it takes those from the outside to teach us who we really are on the inside.

 

Resources

Timeline of science fiction books, short stories, films and television shows.

Recommended Reading and Viewing from the Science Fiction Museum. 

Science Fiction short stories by author:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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