Celebration Orlando is just around the corner. The convention will kick off Thursday with the 40th Anniversary panel, then roll into an action-packed schedule. Up first will be our STEM in Star Wars panel at 1230 on the University Stage.
The STEM movement is a global initiative to increase and diversify interest in critical areas of study: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. The initiative also has embraced Art as key vector for inspiring innovative thinking. The fusion of STEM + Art = STEAM always has been a part of the DNA of Lucasfilm. Before the first Star Wars story projected onto a movie screen, artists and designers had to create new technologies to make George Lucas’ filmmaking vision possible!
From droid-building Anakin Skywalker and pilot/mechanic Han Solo to artistic demolitionist Sabine Wren and scavenger Rey, Star Wars is filled with STEM characters. Death Stars cannot be built without engineering project managers like Orson Krennic and scientific prodigies like Galen Erso. In addition to the aspirational STEM characters in Star Wars, Lucasfilm is an industry leader in cutting-edge technology, such as the Virtual Reality experiences from ILMxLab, that are changing the way fans experience storytelling in the galaxy far far away.
Come hear a panel of STEM professionals discuss their passion for the arts, and Star Wars in particular. Learn what characters, species, ships, and weapons inspire them. Discover how STEM teaches problem solving and communication skills. Consider how science works inside the confines of storytelling, and where science can enhance storytelling. Hear about education tools that use Star Wars to get children interested in STEAM and their own future hobbies and careers. And most of all, what are the infinite possibilities we imagine for Star Wars’ future?
Tricia Barr's novel, Wynde, won the 2014 Independent Publisher Book Award Gold Medal for Best Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror Ebook. She was also part of Silence in the Library's successful all-female creator science fiction and fantasy anthology Athena's Daughters, which is available now. For excerpts and tales of her adventures in creating a fictional universe, hop over to TriciaBarr.com.