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Science Fiction: How Science Shapes Literature & Film | 2024

Science fiction planet

This live online one-semester class is designed to help students develop a deeper understanding of the science within fiction by exploring works of literature and film that present a world that is different--but not too far out of reach--from our own.

Class Details

  • Science Fiction is a 1-semester SPRING 2024 class. ​

  • Tuition: $375

  • Instructor: Marcy Swisher

  • Dates: January 9 to April 16, 2024​. See our FAQ for a complete list of days, times, and breaks.

  • Weekly Live Class: Tuesday 12-1:00 p.m. Eastern

  • Grade level: 10th-12th (15+)

  • Class size: 10

  • Course materials are listed below.

  • Format: Zoom and an online classroom.

    • A reliable internet connection and a webcam with a microphone will be needed.

    • Students should plan to attend live classes, keep their webcams on, and participate.

  • Learn more about the class from Marcy Swisher in THIS brief video.

  • This course is NCAA-approved.

What to Expect

Students will explore how authors use science within fiction as a way to address the human condition, and discuss the “authenticity” of the science portrayed in both hard science fiction (math, physics, chemistry) and soft science fiction (biology, linguistics, psychology).


This class is for students who are eager and willing to devote time to the reading material. It is meant to be a place where students can research and discuss science in a less formal setting than the traditional science or math class.


Students will:

  • Read 2 novels:

    • Project Hail Mary - Andy Weir

    • Klara and the Sun - Kazuo Ishiguro

  • Read a variety of assigned short stories

  • Watch several assigned movies/television show episodes

This will be a very active and fun class with lots of participation encouraged and expected--both in the live classes and in online text-based discussion forums. Grades will be determined by class discussion, mini projects, and a final semester project.

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