archive: SETI [Contact: Vega System Forum:] students

SETI [Contact: Vega System Forum:] students

Larry Klaes ( )
Wed, 19 May 1999 11:05:29 -0400

>Date: Wed, 19 May 1999 11:08:13 -0400 (EDT)
>Reply-To: PleaseRespond@TheBulletinBoard
>Subject: [Contact: Vega System Forum:] students
>The following new message has been posted on Contact: Vega System Forum at
> MESSAGE #396: students
> AUTHOR: dawn <>
> DATE: Wednesday, 19 May 1999, at 11:08 a.m.
>I showed this movie as the culmination of an astronomy unit, and because
>year end and my student's are getting a little flaky. I dislike science
>fiction as a genre and was disappointed in their choice of a movie. But as I
>watched Contact seven, read seven, times in four days I sat enthralled.
And so
>did my 146, 14 and 15 y/o's. (I hadn't realized this was taken from a Carl
>Sagan novel, or my enthusiasm would have been greater to start with.) After
>we'd all seen the movie I posed essay questions that were difficult even for
>me to answer. "Should Ellie have been excluded because she couldn't say she
>believed in God?" "Did having the alien life form be her father hurt the
>movie?" "Did you believe her experience?" "Can religion and science coexist,
>and can there be a "faithful" scientist, or does that call into question her
>objectivity?" I live in a small, religious community split between Catholics
>and Mormons. My student's rose to the challenge in ways I hadn't
>Although I fielded a few calls and even visits from parents who objected to
>the tone of the questions, the kids handled it well. They were passionate in
>their beliefs as only 15 y/o's can be. And sometimes they convinced me. They
>did not believe her father was real, I had hoped he was. By the time I'd
>graded the essays I knew also that he wasn't. One particularly perceptive
>brought up the point of the digital camera. He claimed and I don't know for
>certain, that a digital camera would not have recorded static, but only a
>blank blue screen, like a VCR. I don't know. I would enjoy hearing from
>someone on that issue. Or any other issue for that matter. Against my will I
>have become a huge fan of Contact. Dawn
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