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SPARK - Science for Middle School

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Physics in Film - Star Wars and Beyond - Junior SPARK

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Course DatesWeeksMeeting TimesStatusInstructor(s)CRN
July 20, 2015 - July 24, 20151M-F 8:30A-11:20A and T,TH 12:15-3:05POpenYitzchak/Isaac Solomon10664

Course Description

Lightsabers clash in a galaxy far far away as a pair of droids walk slowly towards the setting of the twin suns.

It's hard to argue with the claim that Star Wars is one of the most iconic pieces of science fiction in the past century, but how does it hold up as a work of science fact? Death stars, blaster bolts, jet-packs, wormholes, space travel, the force...will these concepts ever exist off-screen, and if so, how would they work?

And what about all the other outer-space cinema of the past decades, the ones that claim to be more scientifically accurate? How do we know what things look like millions of miles away, or what it would be like to live in a space station?

In this course we will ask and answer these questions by exploring the physics and astronomy that underlies them. Through classroom discussions, activities, and creative problem-solving sessions we will challenge ourselves to think like scientists and reason our way to our own conclusions. The results may surprise you!

The only prerequisites are an interest in science and an appreciation for science fiction. Some comfort with mathematics will also be useful.

*This Junior SPARK course is designed for students, 12 years and older, who are currently in the 6th and 7th grades (entering 7th and 8th grades Fall 2015). Older students are encouraged to register for our Senior SPARK courses.