About SF free workshop at World Con in Montreal

Anticipation is the name of World Con this year. It is being held in Montreal and I am very excited to be going. I am not a regular convention attendee but after having a great time at Ad Astra this year, I decided I could not miss the opportunity to see the 67th World Science Fiction Convention while it was in Canada.

Eiffel Tower model, Montreal, March 2009.

I am volunteering to help out at a free SF workshop for teachers. I have designed a unit teachers can adapt for their classes in grades 7-10. I teach a grade 8 gifted class, so I am used to customizing the activities and reading materials to different levels. My unit is a mix and match affair around themes of teen identity, societal power, civil liberties, corporate and government interests, high tech for good and evil etc. Instructors can choose books and activities according to their needs. Most of the other presenters are published SF authors but there are also librarians and teachers. I figure I’m going to learn a lot from them.

Julie E. Czerneda, the keynote speaker, suggested that I help out when I ran into her at Ad Astra. I’ve since read one of her books and one of her anthologies and I was very impressed. I'm looking forward to her opening address on using SF to teach science.

Please help spread the word about this free workshop. You can sign up by emailing aboutsfworkshop@gmail.com. After 5:00 pm, AboutSF workshop participants without Anticipation memberships may purchase a $25 special membership to attend World Con for the rest of the evening.

AboutSF's Teaching Speculative Fiction: A Portable Workshop
Anticipation, the 67th World Science Fiction Convention, Montréal, Québec
Thursday, August 6, 2009 at Worldcon - at the Palais des congrès de Montréal
Two Tracks of Programming - Presentations in English and French Running Concurrently

Schedule of English-Language Events (Francophone track listed below)

9:00 – 10:00 - Empower Your Students: Teach Them Science Fiction, Too – Keynote
Award-winning science fiction author and science educator, Julie E. Czerneda, begins the educator program with a frank discussion of how the creativity and reasoned speculation of science fiction are essential tools for scientific literacy and full citizenship in the future your students will inherit.

10:00 – 12:00 Science Fiction and Scientific Literacy – mini workshop
Assess scientific literacy (yours and your students) and learn how to put science fiction to work in your science classroom to develop key components in this hands-on workshop with Donna Young, Lead Educator for the NASA Chandra X-Ray Center EPO Office, and award-winning SF and astronomical illustrator, Jean-Pierre Normand. Materials for classroom use will be provided.

½ hour break to pick up lunch

• Les Jardins food court (level 7), with its variety of fast food selections (deli, salad bar, pizza, prepared dishes), offers fast and efficient service at affordable prices. An adjacent outdoor terrace is open during the summer.

12:30 – 13:30 Brown bag lunch
Join Julie Czerneda for a romp through SF films as she shows examples of “Science, Scientists, and Other Bizarre Notions.” Warning: there will be laughter as well as some surprises.

13:30 – 14:00 – Introducing AboutSF – Presentation
AboutSF provides the foundation for the Anticipation workshop. A special DVD/CD with over a hundred files goes home with workshop members as a resource. David-Glenn Anderson is the tour guide.

14:00 – 16:00 – Stretching the mind while thinking outside the box – mini workshops/presentations
Cathy Palmer-Lister, Lynn E Cohen-Koehler, Lindalee Stuckey, Maaja Wentz, Sharon Rawlins, Eric Choi, and Susan Fichtelberg explore reading, writing and everything else within a classroom. A question may be asked: You have read H. G. Wells Invisible Man. Would you like to be invisible? Why? Why not? A smorgasbord of books, movies, arts, social science and other subject will be covered.

16:00 – 17:00 – Final words -- Open discussion and evaluation
Graduates without Anticipation membership may purchase a $25 special membership to attend Anticipation. Tour the art show, browse the dealer’s room or attend after 5 pm programming.

Schedule of French-Language Events

L'enseignement et la science-fiction : un atelier exploratoire
Anticipation, le 67e congrès mondial de science-fiction, Montréal, Québec
le jeudi 6 août 2009 au Palais des congrès de Montréal

10h30 – 11h30 - La place de la science-fiction à l'école – Table ronde Georges Henri Cloutier, Julie Czerneda, Jean Pettigrew, Daniel Sernine
La SF mérite-t-elle une plus grande place à l'école au Québec? Dans quelle mesure pourrait-elle faciliter l'accès à la lecture pour les garçons, ou l'apprentissage des sciences? Est-il possible de l'enseigner dans le cadre des programmes actuels? Peut-elle enrichir l'enseignement d'autres sujets? Le projet "About SF" peut-il être transposé au Québec ou au Canada francophone? Ou le travail a-t-il déjà été fait?

11h30 – 12h - La science-fiction au secondaire – Présentation Éric Gauthier
Comment parle-t-on de la science-fiction au secondaire? Un auteur expérimenté explique comment on retient l'attention des écoliers du secondaire en les introduisant aux concepts fondamentaux du conte, de la narration et de la science-fiction.

pause d'une demi-heure pour aller chercher à manger

12h30 – 13h30 - Repas – Films (facultatifs; en anglais)
Dans l'autre salle, Julie Czerneda présente une série de films de SF afin d'illustrer la représentation de la science, des scientifiques et autres bizarreries incomprises de Hollywood.

13h30 – 15h - La science-fiction au primaire – Présentation Philippe Collin, Michèle Laframboise
Comment parle-t-on de la science-fiction au primaire? Deux intervenants aguerris discutent de leurs méthodes pour présenter la science-fiction aux plus jeunes en fournissant quelques exemples.

15h – 16h - Les auteurs à l'école – Table ronde Jean-Pierre Guillet, Danielle Martinigol, Francine Pelletier
Comment les auteurs font-ils, en une heure, pour présenter à la fois la science-fiction et leurs ouvrages? La science-fiction est-elle bien accueillie à l'école?

16h – 17h – Conclusions -- Discussion générale et bilan

Les participants à l'atelier qui ne sont pas inscrits à Anticipation ont droit à un rabais de 25$ sur toute inscription (pour une journée, pour la fin de semaine ou pour les cinq jours). Visitez l'exposition de tableaux, magasinez dans la salle de ventes ou assistez aux tables rondes. Restez le jeudi ou passez toute la fin de semain.