Because of my research into artificial intelligence and my geek habits (see About Me here and My Story here), I’m often accused of living in a sci-fi world. My answer: More of us should. Don’t take my word for it. Here are some facts:
- A 1993 study from Purdue University found that children learn more about science from STAR TREK than from any other source.
- The Star Trek appeal–to explore new worlds–motivates many otherwise non-science folk to get involved and learn. Look at SETI (the organized search for extra-terrestrials)–with over three million users, it’s the largest joint computing effort in existence
- Why is Star Trek so popular? Because people like to imagine the unknown. Curiosity is one of our signature human characteristics. It’s never going away until we become extinct. Star Trek’s presentation of transporters, event horizons, invisibility cloaks, inspire youngsters to grow up and invent them. Invisibility (thanks to metamaterials) is just around the corner of our imagination, coming to a reality near you (read this)
- The transporter effect can be accomplished by a motivated student for his high school science fair. Here’s what you do:
- Fill a canister with water.
- Add glitter and shine a light through it.
- Stir briskly and tape.
- Film the scene, first with the actor, then without. (Or vice versa)
- Transfer the scene to tape, and use video technology to matte the glitter over the actor. 4) Use a video wipe to ‘streak down’ the glitter.
One more amazing scientific anomaly that kids can understand.
- The NASA motto is “To boldly go..” as in Star Trek.
My mind is open like a parachute. Try it. It’s not as scary as it sounds.