The Science of Sci-fi

Lesson 3: Science and Sci-fi

Many people interact with science primarily through science fiction. From the first science fiction movie to the numerous science fiction movies and shows produced today, writers have used elements of science to lend credibility and excitement to the worlds they create. The stories not only engage viewers but have been a catalyst for some, inspiring many scientists to pursue scientific careers. The activities presented here provide an opportunity for students to think about and engage with science in a way that is different than in a traditional science class, putting them in the creative drivers seat and allowing them to exercise their imaginations while continuing to think about and understand the nature of science.

Connections to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Activity 1: Write your own Science Fiction Show

To access the student-ready materials click here.

Science fiction shows like Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica and Stargate incorporate numerous real scientific concepts alongside invented or modified science to create their stories. In this lesson students use a combination of factual and exaggerated or invented scientific ideas as the framework for their own science fiction show. The final story can be presented as a storyboard poster or as slides.

Activity 2: Wrapping-up Lesson 3

Revisiting their personal timelines from Lesson 1, students can consider how their new understanding of science and scientists has affected their thinking. How do they now think about the way their lives might be affected by science and other STEM fields? How might students affect science and other STEM fields? As scientists? As science literate citizens and members of other professions?

The activities on this website are intended to promote the idea that all people are invited to join in creative endeavors of science. Individuals of all backgrounds, ages, and abilities can be encouraged to engage with the geosciences, whether as a geoscience professional, as a hobbyist, or through civic engagement. Because each person has a role to play in the areas that geoscientists study — including Earth's resources, natural hazards, and understanding the wonder of our environment — geoscience truly is for everyone.

For more information and resources related to the theme "Geoscience Is for Everyone" and geoscience education in general, visit the Earth Science Week website.