Earlier this week, we shared a zombie-themed writing activity with you and we’re happy to say that there are more zombies where that came from. This morning we came across STEM Behind Hollywood, a cool new resource put together by Texas Instruments.
Here you’ll find three free, Hollywood-inspired math and science activities that model the transmission of a hypothetical zombie contagion.
These activities encourage students to engage with STEM concepts like the exponential growth of a zombie horde and how the growth turns into a characteristic “s” curve from limited resources as the infection begins to spread. Students will learn or review the basic functions of various parts of the human brain and discuss factors dealing with immunity and vaccines.
Unless you can recreate the activities on your own, you’ll need to download the TI-Nspire trial software; the good news is that it’s compatible with iPads and other Texas Instrument hardware like the TI-Nspire.
If you want to take a look at the lesson plan before going through the effort of downloading the software, click here.
This is such a cool idea. Many of my students are in a live-action role-playing game here on campus called "Zombies vs. Humans," and there is significant interest in the phenomena of the living dead. I recently read an article that references how Web 2.0 technology operates on the "hive mind," which is another idea borrowed from sci fi. I wonder how else science fiction can contribute meaningfully to literacy as well as to STEM disciplines.
Hi, Michael. Thanks for reading and taking the time to respond. The live-action game you mentioned sounds awesome. Is it school-sponsored and academic or just for fun?
As far as I know it is an organic start-up thing that students just "do." Lots of complex rules and a whole sub-culture of students who engage with it. I know RIT (my university) acknowledges it but I do not think it is officially sponsored. Definitely not "Capital A" academic though. Lots of skills being developed though.
That's great, Michael. Thanks for sharing!