Is it Science Fiction or Science Future?
Goal: To show students how essential an educated mind will be in the new millennium.
Materials: Marker board, markers, file cards, pens, poster board, awards for contest participants (such as certificates, treats or ribbons, possibly having special acknowledgment for the winning team members), 20-30 foreign coins or paper currency (select unfamiliar currency that is not similar to U.S./Canadian money, or make up your own "foreign" currency.)
1. _ Inform the students that they will be creating and competing in a new TV-style game show, called Master the Millennium. Divide the students into 2 teams, and give file cards, pens and poster board to each team. Ask each team to write 30 questions on the file cards for the contest, and to create a scoring system on the poster board that rates each teams' readiness for the millennium. For example, a question could ask: "Name the best and worst thing to do when a computer crashes," and the scoring system could rate getting a total of just 1-3 questions correct means "You're not going to last a minute in the new millennium." Once the teams are prepared with questions and scoring, play the game and discuss.
2. _ Ask the students to discuss their favorite
science fiction books, TV shows or movies, and assist the group to focus on their favorite characters. Assist the students to realize that many of the survivors in science fiction had excellent skills, and note that the class members will need similar skills on their voyages into the new millennium.
3. _ Display the coins to the class, and ask the students to explain the currency to you. When the students can't, ask them to describe how they are feeling, eliciting expressions of frustration and anger. Inform the students that the frustration and anger they feel about not being able to complete this task, mirrors the frustration and anger uneducated and unskilled people may live with on a daily basis in the next millennium. Discuss with the students if they would want to regularly have to face such difficulties, and emphasize that education is solution.
4. _ Review the major points of this lesson:
! People who have a good education are best prepared to survive in the millennium.
! It can be very frustrating to be unable to readily accomplish basic tasks, yet that is what the future may hold for people who do not have enough education and skills to master the new millennium.