Search NOVA Teachers

Back to Teachers Home

Real Jurassic Park, The

Classroom Activity


Objective
To consider the ethics of applying revolutionary scientific technologies.

Materials for each team
  • copy of "Interplanetary Colonization Corporation" student handout (HTML)
Procedure
  1. The fictitious Jurassic Park raises many questions about the ethics of applying revolutionary scientific technologies. Challenge your students to think about whether they would approve of a similarly radical idea, by giving them the fictitious proposal in the "Interplanetary Colonization Corporation" student handout.

  2. Tell your students that there is a proposal to transform the climate of Mars so that humans can live there. Ask your students to prepare a letter to the Interplanetary Colonization Corporation, opposing or supporting the proposal. What are the reasons for their positions?

Activity Answer

Students may select to support or oppose the project. Supporting arguments might include the excitement of creating a new human habitat, the opportunity to test a novel idea, the potential for expanding human population and for reducing overcrowding on Earth, or the potential for extracting new natural resources from Mars. Opposing arguments might include the possibility of destroying or damaging the Martian environment; the potential dangers faced by colonists; the idea that this project represents a waste of resources that could be put to better use on Earth; the possibility that the plan might not work; possible larger effects on the solar system from changing a planet; or the ethical argument that Mars does not belong to the residents of Earth and that we have no right to exploit it.

Teacher's Guide
Real Jurassic Park, The
PROGRAM OVERVIEW VIEWING IDEAS CLASSROOM ACTIVITY IDEAS FROM TEACHERS




Video is not required for this activity