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The Clone Age
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The Clone Age
Activities
  “Way-Out” Science Fiction Stories
Many scientific concepts that seem commonplace today - like cloning - actually first appeared in works of science fiction. Lead a brief discussion about any books, movies, and television shows in which cloning is a theme. (One good example is the recent film Multiplicity.) Now that cloning is no longer science fiction but science fact, what will be the next “way-out” idea to appear in a science fiction story - an idea that might one day become reality? To answer this question, have students write a science fiction story that involves a new, stranger-than-reality scientific idea. When students finish writing, ask them to consider each other’s stories and discuss which way-out ideas are most likely to end up becoming reality and why.

No Cloning
Challenge students to create a public service advertisement campaign for or against human cloning. Have them begin by first choosing a side and then listing the best points of their argument. Instruct students to express their ideas with attention-grabbing images and snappy yet informative language. Suggest that they find other public service advertisements, such as the ones for anti-smoking, to use as models - a few good examples can be found at www.tobaccofreekids.org and www.badvertising.org. Point out the fact that student campaigns can take the form of posters, buttons, pamphlets, television and radio spots, and magazine and newspaper advertisements. Have the class vote on which aspect of each campaign is the best and a final vote on which campaign - for or against - is the most effective.

Cloning in the News
The U.S. government is currently working fast and furiously to pass whatever laws are necessary to prevent or delay human cloning experimentation in the United States. Have your students research the steps that the president and Congress are taking to make this happen, as well as any current cloning experiments that are underway. When they have gathered their information, ask them to synthesize what they have learned into a news briefing for a local television station. Make sure they summarize all of the important developments and present them in a clearly written report.

  Twenty-first Century Time Capsule
Students develop predictions about 21st century technological developments, then write descriptions of those developments and seal them in a time capsule to be opened one hundred years in the future.

 
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