Contact (1997)


Concept featured in film:Universe Size

Location of clip: DVD: Beginning - 0:03:38

Play Flickclip Here

Summary of clip: The scene starts with a view of the earth from outer space. You can hear a mix of different radio and television broadcasts. As the scene progresses, the viewer gets farther and farther away from the earth. First the shot takes the viewer past the planets, out past the Milky Way, and finally into the outer reaches of the universe.

Connection of flickclip to the concept:This clip is appropriate for any age group studying the solar system, the universe, the Big Bang Theory, etc. This clip shows that the universe expands much farther than just our solar system. It shows students how vast the universe is as well as the amount of matter in the universe.

Suggestions to teachers:
1. Suggested questions for students when viewing the clip:

a. How big is the universe?

b. How long ago was the universe created?

c. What theory do scientists use to explain how the universe was created?

d. Why did the things that we heard get older as we got farther away from planet Earth?

e. What are those signals? (electromagnetic waves)

2. As an additional activity, you could discuss the Big Bang Theory. This clip can also be used as part of a discussion on gravity and Newton's first law of motion. It is gravity that holds the planets in orbit around the sun. The Big Bang theory is partially based on the fact that the universe is expanding. According to Newton's first law, an object in motion stays in motion until acted on by an outside force. When the universe was created, matter was put into motion and continues to stay in motion today.