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  • Lesson plan
  • Grades 11-12,
  • Grades 6-8,
  • Grades 9-10

Solar Sailing


Bill Nye is a man on a mission: to grow appreciation and excitement for scientific thinking across the world. The former star of the popular kids show Bill Nye the Science Guy is now advocating for the importance of science, research and discovery in public life. With intimate and exclusive access-as well as plenty of wonder and whimsy-this behind-the-scenes portrait of Nye follows him as he takes off his Science Guy lab coat and takes on those who deny climate change, evolution and a science-based world view. Directed by David Alvarado and Jason Sussberg, the film features Bill Nye, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Ann Druyan and many others.

As CEO of the Planetary Society, Bill Nye leads the largest nonprofit organization dedicated to educating about space exploration. In this lesson, students will explore one of the promising innovations of space exploration, solar sail technology. Students will learn how solar sailing works, who is involved, how the technology has been tested and where it is headed in the future.

About the authors


Blueshift is a team of education specialists with background in environmental and social impact work. The team recognizes and builds on the power of documentary film in reaching broad audiences to spark energy for deep and lasting social change. The team works with filmmakers, photographers and writers to develop innovative educational strategies, experiences, tools and resources that bring stories off the screen and into viewers' lives.