Science Fiction Benefits Young Minds
Sci-Fi Month is brought to you by Rinn Reads. Check out the full schedule of Sci-Fi Month posts! There are reviews, discussions, give aways, and more!
As a life-long consumer of science fiction, I feel like it is my duty to introduce my students to the genre. In addition to the fact that the stories are just amazing, there are so many valuable lessons they can learn. Our world - and our future world - needs the kinds of adults that have been reading and watching science fiction since their earliest days.
Building Interest in Science and Technology
It’s no secret that some of our wildest, most amazing technological advances started out as science fiction. If we can dream it, someone can create it - eventually. Kids who see interstellar travel, almost miraculous cures for diseases, and robots handing the most dangerous of situations want to learn about space, medicine, and robotics. These are the children who will shape the future I want to see.
Encouraging Wonder and “What If?”
Curiosity about the natural world is vital, but even more important is taking that newly acquired knowledge and asking “what if?”. Science fiction excels in inspiring these kinds of questions. I wrote an entire post in April of last year dedicated to the kinds of “what if” questions that can help the next generation change the shape of humanity.
(link to “What If” post - http://www.mariaselke.com/2012/04/why-sci-fi-power-of-what-if.html)
We need advances in technology. We need to find new resources and use them in new ways. More importantly, though, we humans all need to learn to get along just a wee bit better than we have historically.
Science fiction is the perfect vehicle for beginning these discussions. What does it mean to be human? Can robots ever gain sentience, and how will we learn to accept them when and if they do? How will we handle meeting alien races who could be so vastly different from us? Will those meetings teach us that the divisions we have arbitrarily made amongst humans are ridiculous?
So many science fiction novels (and picture books, and kids graphic novels) that I love focus on the theme of acceptance.
Come back all this month to hear about some of my favorites, and get ideas for how you can use them to spark interest in science fiction in the next generation.
(There is supposed to be an embedded Prezi below, but I'm not sure it's working properly. If you can't see it, you can visit the link directly . I created it to share with parents at my elementary school. There are lots of great science fiction books for a variety of ages in the presentation!)