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Science and Societies Through Science Fiction Movies

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What’s really going on under the surface of science fiction films? Many popular films use innovative science concepts and visions of the future to deliver award-winning drama. In doing so, they may have a cultural impact far beyond their original goals, shaping thought on and fears about science for long after a movie’s initial release. An example: Distrust genetically engineered foods? You just might be feeling the same fear as the readers and viewers of Jurassic Park — that biotechnology will destroy, not save, humanity. During each week of this high school course, appropriate for students ages 12 and up, a selected movie will be viewed at home and then together the class will critically examine the truths and fictionalizations (intentional or not) of the related science and societies in the film during moderated class-based discussions and in written discussion forums. Discussion topics are posted to help guide the viewing of each film in its appropriate context. Many of the selected movies are rated at least PG (a.k.a. ‘Parental Guidance’ suggested), although some are rated R.  We strongly advise parents to be aware of the content that their children will be viewing before signing up for this course and we encourage families to view the films together.

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