Science Fiction has had a major role in the development of our society today whether or not we are aware of it. Back to the Future predicted hoverboards and wearable technology. 2001: A Space Odyssey thought up the tablet. Star Trek used videophone communications. Isaac Asimov invented the “Encyclopaedia” whose modern interpretation is Google. Even the Jetson’s got to use robot vacuums way before they became available to us. H.G. Wells imagined the use of airplanes in warfare and the creation of the atomic bomb. Jules Verne wrote about a worldwide communication network – now widely known as the internet. Giorgia Lupi even created a detailed infographic outlining numerous science fiction texts and their predictions for the future all the way to the year 802701.
It is interesting to note the difference in how we see the future now – based on current texts available – and how the future was seen in the past. Jean-Marc Côté, a French commercial artist, created a number of images for the World Exhibition in Paris in 1900.
For a more updated version of how today’s society may see the future is covered with works such as the movie Tomorrowland and Her.
The best thing about science fiction is that it has now, and for a number of years, become a reality. People are working with technology that most of us can only dream of and it is not until we are exposed to these talks and websites like this do we realise and understand what we are able to do and what our future will be.
The only problem with all of this dreaming is that it is done by adults. As much as an adult can inspire a child or teen to dream – sometimes the best way to inspire them is to show that other kids and teens are doing it too. So…what are they doing? What are they thinking? What do they dream for their future?
Let’s have a look at a few goodies you can sink your teeth into!
TED.com has a variety of examples where kids and teens are forging the way ahead for the rest of us.
A Facebook group named Teens for the Future was created by teens to “inspire teenagers to voice their visionary ideas and become leaders in their communities and the world.
Google thinks these 18 teenagers will change the world. One example is a 17 year old from Australia Cynthia Sin Nga Lam.
“Thinking about the limited access to electricity and potable water in some developing countries, Cynthia Sin Nga Lam set out to create, in her words, “a portable device that purifies wastewater while generating electricity sustainably and affordably.” Her final product, the H2prO, skirts the need for a power source and instead uses titanium dioxide and light to spur a photocatalytic reaction that both sterilizes wastewater and generates electricity from hydrogen.” (@megan_gambino, 2014)
And look at all of these teens at the Google Science Fair!!!
Also, check out teens like Joey Hudy whose recent invention includes a solar-powered computer.
The Huffington Post has a Teen Impact section which recognises and celebrates the achievements of teenagers around the world.
The people at Teen Business sure know what’s going on in their field too.
And Teen Vogue released an amazing cohort of Teens Who Changed The World in 2014.
What am I trying to prove by showing you all this?
I’m showing you that you can dream.
I’m showing you that you can make the future what *you* want it to be.
I’m showing you that you can be a fabulous roman candle exploding across the skies.
I’m showing you that you can dare to be a dreamer.
@megan_gambino, F. (2014). Google Thinks These 18 Teenagers Will Change the World. Smithsonian. Retrieved 11 October 2015, from http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/google-thinks-these-18-teenagers-will-change-the-world-180952293/?no-ist