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SUBJECTS — Religion/Judeo-Christian; Science Fiction; Mathematics;
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING — Grieving; Father/Daughter;
MORAL-ETHICAL EMPHASIS — Trustworthiness; Caring.
Age: 12+; MPAA Rating: PG (for some intense action, mild language, and a scene of sensuality); Drama; 1997; 153 minutes; Color.
Aliens contact Earth and send plans for a mysterious machine to transport a person through space-time. Should mankind build the machine or not? Who should represent our species? Is a trip through space-time worth lying about your religious beliefs?
The TeachWithMovies.com Learning Guide to Contact provides background information and discussion questions about the relationship between belief in a supreme being and science and about the scientific and moral issues raised by the film. It shows a woman scientist in a leading role.
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- Helpful Background
- Building Vocabulary
- Discussion Questions
- Links to Internet
- Bridges to Reading
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Contact is science fiction at its best. It raises serious ethical issues and explores the edge of modern science.
Learning Guide Excerpt
To give you a sense of how our Learning Guides can be used by teachers as lesson plans and by parents to supplement school curriculum or for homeschooling, we have set out below a paragraph from the Learning Guide to Contact.
SETI is an international group of scientists and lay people who scan the heavens for signs of life on other planets. See SETI Institute On Line and SERENDIP at the University of California. An innovative program, SETI@home, uses the Internet to send packets of recorded interstellar radio signals to home and office computers. Any computer user can participate by running a free program that analyzes the radio signals for transmissions from civilizations on other planets. The SETI@home program operates only when the participant's computer is not being used for other tasks. The results are sent to SETI when the computer is logged onto the Internet. SETI then sends a new packet of interstellar radio signals for analysis. (The radio signals are gathered by the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico which is the scene for the early portion of the movie.) The SETI@home program has an attractive screen saver which provides a visual representation of the analysis as it occurs. SETI@home allows any person with an up-to-date computer to contribute to SETI with a minimum of inconvenience. It is an excellent teaching tool.
The Learning Guide to the film Contact contains sections on Benefits of the Movie, Possible Problems, Helpful Background, Discussion Questions, Links to the Internet, and Bridges to Reading. The Discussion Questions are divided into three categories: Subject Matter, Social-Emotional Learning, and Moral-Ethical Emphasis.
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