Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination
Almost every child remembers the first time Luke Skywalker activated his lightsaber: the brilliant, fluorescent glow and the powerful humming noise. It was Star Wars tech and science fiction rolled up into one cool weapon. The audience’s collective imagination went wild. And it was fun!
With the newest Star Wars movie premiering in the next few days, everyone is talking about it. Now, teachers across the country are integrating Star Wars science into their science classes — they even help children build their own lightsabers! And why wouldn’t they? Children love the creatures, the other-worldly planets, and the amazing technology. More importantly, children are interested in learning about how they can create their own star wars universe. And that’s great because jobs in science and technology are booming and children should become aware of their benefits and the opportunities they offer.
Star Wars Science Experiments
Homeschooling parents are always looking for creative ways to challenge their children and make learning exciting. Star Wars science experiments provide an amazing opportunity to blend technology with everyday homeschooling.
For example, Amazon.com offers a Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit. It comes with easy step-by-step directions — and children can work on their own or with their parents. The kit also offers an “Inventor app” that challenges children to teach their droids new skills. What an amazing way for parents to introduce their homeschoolers to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) programs.
Holograms are another way families can experiment with the effects seen in Star Wars. Holograms are a three-dimensional image formed by the interference of light beams from a laser or other coherent light source. A simple Google search will provide directions for making a hologram.
Benefits of the Science of Star Wars
As noted earlier, STEM programs and job opportunities have risen over the past decade. But the workforce experience that employers are looking for can’t match the jobs available. The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology stated in 2012:
Economic projections point to a need for approximately 1 million more STEM professionals than the U.S. will produce at the current rate over the next decade if the country is to retain its historical preeminence in science and technology.
You may think studying STEM lessons is a bit crazy to focus on science in the early years. But any science or math, especially utilizing programs and themes that interest them, helps children become more prepared and confident in their abilities. Instilling that confidence motivates them — and also encourages learning on their own.
The Star Wars theme certainly interests most children and acts as an alternative to basic science lessons. They are visually and physically interacting with characters they have a connection with and a love for because they’ve experienced them at the movies. Take advantage and watch your children enjoy themselves as they learn.
Impact of Star Wars on Society
The characters in star wars impacted people of all ages. Their wacky names (Obi Wan Kenobi), and endearing habits, such as the worried C-3PO, piqued the interest of the young and not so young alike. But what really made the movies memorable have been the incredible weapons, spaceships, and technology. Who could forget hyperdrive?
Hyperdrives allow starships to travel faster than the speed of light, crossing space through the alternate dimension of hyperspace.
But the impact also reached the education world. While they don’t let you travel faster than the speed of light, technology such as tablets, hand-held devices, and smartphones have opened up a new world of learning for children.
Star Wars made an indelible mark on society and it continues with the new episodes. If your child has shown interest in star wars technology, tune in every week on the Star Wars YouTube page for exciting educational episodes featuring all things Star Wars science. May the force be with you!