Using SCIENCE FICTION SPACE TECHNOLOGY : A TOOL FOR LEARNING in the classroom

BACKGROUND

From an editorial letter to AD ASTRA, Jun 1990: "Science fiction is not only the best way to predict the future, it has also helped to create the civilian space program. "Name any other method of attempting to forecast the future...including the work of professional scientists...Read their predictions five or ten years after they were written. Pitiful! Science fiction writers, on the other hand, have predicted virtually every aspect of our modern world - often 30 or more years before the events came to pass." Ben Bova, Chairman, National Space Society Board


CONCEPT

Have the students analyze space science fiction rockets, robots, etc. found in movies, comics, and novels. Ask them to find: (1) What about these devices is possible with today's technology?

(2) What is probably not possible with today's technology?

(3) What new technology is needed to make these science fiction devices work?


STUDY PROCEDURE

Ask each student to choose a science fiction technical device to analyze. Outline for the student a suggested study approach:

(1) Study existing technology (space shuttles, space stations, lasers, robots) similar to the selected item.

(2) Decide what features of the studied item are like today's technology.

(3) Determine what is unlike today's technology.

(4) Explain what new way of doing things has to exist for the science fiction item to work.

(5) Finally, for extra credit, design (add to the original sketch) items overlooked by the science fiction author or artist that should have been included to make the science fiction device work.


The use of SCIENCE FICTION SPACE TECHNOLOGY : A TOOL FOR LEARNING on the world wide web (WWW) offers unique study resources to apply the program's study method. Photos of science fiction covers and other artwork appear at web sites throughout the world. Click on the hotword SCIENCE FICTION ARTWORK for typical sci-fi art examples for feasibility study.


INDEX

Click here to continue with: Using Science Fiction to Teach Space Technology.

Click here to continue with: Early Sci-Fi Spacecraft.

Click here to continue with: Spacecraft in Sci-Fi.

Click here to continue with: Space Stations in Sci-Fi.

Click here to continue with: Space Shuttle Type Craft in Science Fiction.

Click here to continue with: Using Science Fiction Space Technology in the classroom.

Click here to continue with: Science Fiction Spacecraft Art.


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Last modified: Tuesday, 15-Feb-00 11:00:00 AM CDT

Author: Jerry Woodfill / NASA, Mail Code ER7, jared.woodfill1@jsc.nasa.gov

Curator: Cecilia Breigh, NASA JSC ER

Responsible Official: Andre Sylvester, NASA JSC ER7

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