Star Wars Science Resources

Overview


Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination



Be sure to check out Lucasfilm's successful globetrotting exhibition, Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination. This exhibition takes the science of the Star Wars universe and compares it to the real scientific advancements found in our world. The two major technology themes of the exhibition are "Getting Around," an examination of transportation methods and "Robots and People," which examines modern robot technology. Props, models, and costumes from all six films round out this exciting and educational exhibition.


Learn more or plan your trip by visiting the exhibition's official website, Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination.


Teacher Resources

Teacher resources provided by Powerhouse Museum, Sydney.

Current Events

In this section you will find current event articles that relate science and Star Wars. Educators can use these current events to connect the events of Star Wars with the present day. The most recent science articles are shown below.


The Future of Cars Is Already Here

Smithsonian.com
4/23/2016

In the last hangar off the runway in Prineville, Oregon, Sam Bousfield locked down one of the wings to his flying car. His engineer was busy burnishing the parabolic slope of the carbon-fiber finish. Bousfield handed me half a tail wing. It floated in my hand, light as balsa wood. “Eight pounds,” he said, which, for a structural component of an airplane, is almost nothing. Off in the far side of the hangar sat his original wooden mock-up of the chassis, a three-wheeled aerodynamic lozenge right out of a manga enthusiast’s idea of a speed racer. He encouraged me to climb in and get a feel for the feng shui of the driver’s seat, the view out the windshield, the sense of balance. But what he really wanted me to see was that this thing was real—that the flying car is no longer in that jetpack realm of promising technology that never quite arrives. “I expect to take this car into the air in June,” he said.


How to Plug In Your Brain

Smithsonian.com
4/23/2016

Two hundred and thirty-five years after the Italian scientist Luigi Galvani reported that dismembered frog legs twitch in response to a static charge applied to a nerve, we are still exploring the mysteries of what he called “animal electricity,” especially in the brain. That the brain generates a bit of its own electricity, which can be detected by an electroencephalogram, or EEG, is well established, as is the fact that some neurosurgeons today sometimes use hair-thin electrodes to stimulate deep brain structures and stop Parkinson’s tremors. But scientists are now exploring a question that is, well, mind-boggling: Can low-voltage doses of electricity, transmitted through hair, skin and skull directly into particular regions of the brain, make already healthy people sharper and more alert?


When Electricity and Music Collide, the Tesla Coils Sing

Smithsonian.com
4/22/2016

The reverberations of the announcer's amplified voice fade into the darkened auditorium, and the last few cheers from the crowd are cut off by a sizzling buzz. In the center of the stage, awash in blue and purple light, a figure steps forward. Helmeted like a knight, draped in what appears to be chain mail and wielding an electric guitar, the figure plays the first few crackling chords of his set. As he does so, forked tongues of lightning reach out from two towers flanking the stage and strike him. But he doesn’t even flinch.


Stephen Hawking on Why Black Holes Are Worthy of Your Consideration

Smithsonian.com
4/21/2016

As research subjects, black holes have never been more luminous. But in the 1970s, the renowned physicist Stephen Hawking said that he found them vexing. Although he accepted the common wisdom that black holes were completely black, his equations showed that they emitted particles, giving off a faint glow we now call Hawking radiation. “I therefore put quite a lot of effort into trying to get rid of this embarrassing effect,” he said. “But the more I thought about it, the more it refused to go away.”


These Tiny Satellites Can Be Launched Into Space for as Little as $1,000

Smithsonian.com
4/20/2016

Making the cut for NASA's astronaut program isn't a prerequisite for doing outer space research. A team of students at Arizona State University have created tiny satellites that can be launched into space for as little as $1,000, hundreds of times cheaper than traditional satellites. The 3-centimeter-wide devices, called SunCube FemtoSats, could make the barrier for space research much, much lower.


A Giant Planetary Smashup May Have Turned Venus Hot and Hellish

Smithsonian.com
3/10/2016

Despite its hellish conditions today, Venus may once have been a welcoming world. It's just a bit smaller than Earth, and if water arrived at both planets the same way, Venus could have once hosted oceans on its surface. At some point, however, its atmosphere took off in a runaway greenhouse effect, and now surface temperatures are hot enough to melt lead.


After a Century of Searching, We Finally Detected Gravitational Waves

Smithsonian.com
2/11/2016

Scientists have heard gravity’s aria for the first time. As two black holes spiraled toward each other and merged, they created ripples in the fabric of the cosmos in exactly the form physicists have predicted for a century: gravitational waves. Unveiled today during a suite of international press conferences, the signal paves the way for a whole new understanding of the universe.


Mysterious Martian "Cauliflower" May Be the Latest Hint of Alien Life

Smithsonian.com
2/1/2016

The hunt for signs of life on Mars has been on for decades, and so far scientists have found only barren dirt and rocks. Now a pair of astronomers thinks that strangely shaped minerals inside a Martian crater could be the clue everyone has been waiting for.


Babylonians Were Using Geometry Centuries Earlier Than Thought

Smithsonian.com
1/28/2016

As one of the brightest objects in the night sky, the planet Jupiter has been a source of fascination since the dawn of astronomy. Now a cuneiform tablet dating to between 350 and 50 B.C. shows that Babylonians not only tracked Jupiter, they were taking the first steps from geometry toward calculus to figure out the distance it moved across the sky.


Operation Desert Storm Was Not Won By Smart Weaponry Alone

Smithsonian.com
1/20/2016

Technology has long been a deciding factor on the battlefield, from powerful artillery to new weaponry to innovations in the seas and the skies. Twenty-five years ago was no different, as the United States and its allies, proved overwhelmingly successful in the Persian Gulf War. A coalition of U.S. Army Apache attack helicopters, cruise missiles from naval vessels, and Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk “stealth fighters” soundly broke through Saddam Hussein’s army defenses in Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm, which became known as the “100-hours war.”