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 Star Wars Day, May 4 (May the 4th be With You!), which celebrates the Star Wars media franchise, around the corner, teachers across the country are integrating Star Wars activities 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. That’s great because jobs in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) 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 both challenge their children and make learning fun and exciting. Star Wars science experiments provide an amazing opportunity to blend technology with everyday homeschooling.
For example, Amazon.com offers all types of Star Wars inventor kits, with easy step-by-step directions that children can build on their own or with their parents.
Holograms are another way families can experiment with the effects seen in Star Wars. Holograms are three-dimensional images 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. According to the Smithsonian Science Education Center, by 2018, it is projected that 2.4 million STEM jobs will go unfilled. It’s never too early to expose your child to STEM lessons. This helps children become more prepared for a rewarding career and more confident in their abilities. Instilling that confidence motivates them — and also encourages learning on their own.
The Star Wars theme certainly interests a wide-range of age groups and acts as an alternative to traditional science lessons. Students are visually and physically interacting with characters they have a connection with and a love for because they’ve experienced them at the movies.
Impact of Star Wars on Society
The characters in Star Wars have an impact on 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!
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UPDATED April 29, 2021