Friday, June 22, 2012

I really enjoyed this book and I think that many high school students would enjoy reading parts of it as well.  There are definitely parts that are too technical and would surely cause some students to lose interest.  Despite that, Armageddon Science offers the opportunity for many great conversations that are concerns for many young students.  High school students are developing their own sense of politics and self identity and would naturally have questions and fears that are addressed in this book.  Specifically, the chapters concerning climate change, nuclear weapons, terrorist attacks, and robots are frequently talked about on the news and among concerned Americans.  Since they are developing their own sense of identity concerning political identity, students are sure to have valid and divergent opinions about these topics.  If they are to study political science, history, or enter into government or military work, then they will need to define their own ideas on what constitutes a threat and how to adequately deal with that threat.

I think the most recognizable threat brought up in the book is climate change.  Furthermore, this topic offers some great chances for discussion and research.  Subjects such as geography, civics, government, and history can all be addressed through climate change lessons.  Whenever an educator can combine a current topic with a similar event in the past, they should not pass up that opportunity.  Of course, lessons about nuclear bombs and WMD's are easy to have in a history class.  However, current events around the world are presenting difficult and important questions every day.  I think it is important to engage students in current events whenever possible

Armageddon Science would be a very interesting and enjoyable read for many students.  The fact that it is a little weird and presents strange topics, such as nanobots, grey goo, robots, and mad scientists would, in my opinion, draw more students to want to continue reading.  However, the teacher may want to assign specific and engaging sections so as to avoid any possible boredom with too much technical jargon.

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