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Film Festival - Apollo 13

Wednesday - November 17, 2008
MAC Playhouse - 3:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Apollo 13

Hosted by: Dr. Robert Singer, Professor of English
College Now English Course Coordinator

Dr. Mary Ortiz, College Now Science Course Coordinator

About the Movie: Apollo 13
Director, Ron Howard 1995 - Rating PG
Based on the true story of the ill-fated 13th Apollo mission to the moon. Astronauts Jim Lovell, Fred Haise and Jack Swigert were scheduled to fly Apollo 14, but are moved up to 13. It's 1970, and America have already achieved their lunar landing goal, so there's little interest in this routine flight until, that is, things go very wrong, and prospects of a safe return fade.


About the Presenter: Dr. Mary Ortiz
Dr. Mary Ortiz is a Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Kingsborough Community College. Interested i space since childhood, she has worked for NASA in the Space Life Sciences Training Program at The Kennedy Space Center in Florida and as Faculty Research Fellow at The Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. She is currently involved in research on restoring eel grass in Jamaica Bay.

About the Presenter: Dr. Robert Singer
Dr. Robert Singer is a Professor of English at Kingsborough, CUNY and adjunct Professor of Film Studies and Liberal Studies at the Graduate Center, CUNY. He received a Ph.D. from New York University in Comparative Literature. He co-edited Zola and Film: Essays in the Art of Adaptation (2005), The Brooklyn Film (2003), and co-authored the text, The History of Brooklyn's Three Major Performing Arts Institutions (2003). Among his professional honors and awards have been nine PSC-CUNY Study Grants and an NEH Study Grant for College Teachers. He has also written and directed several independent short films. Professor Singer has worked with College Now for over 10 years as Coordinator of the English Program.

Sample ACT Style Essay

Extra Credit Assignments
Apollo 13 is a slightly fictionalized film about a nearly catastrophic event that involved an American space mission. Three astronauts went on a routine mission but were barely able to return safely home because of an equipment malfunction. What could have ended in disaster instead develops into a study of team work, communication, and the spirited effort we must make when trouble, however unforeseen, emerges and we must respond. Another message that Apollo 13 suggests is that science and technology are not infallible and that the "human touch" will always be a necessary component when progress, whether in the form of space exploration, medical research, or even designing and building for a new world, is advanced in our society for the future. Qualified people will always be necessary when problems arise.

You have been asked to write a letter to your local congressperson in which you will express your views concerning the funding of special, new science classes in your high school that focus on astronomy, space technology, and the engineering associated with space exploration. These classes would strengthen the science and math curricula and introduce students to new areas of research and technology for career and future goals. However, some people believe that the money could best be spent elsewhere, for example, rebuilding the library, athletic field, or instead be used to buy new standard textbooks and serve other important, traditional educational projects. Since there is only enough money for either the new science classes or for traditional funding of school projects, you must decide which project best serves your interests and works for the common good. What important personal, social and related educational issues can you discuss to support funding either project? Which project should be supported?

Mini-Research Project

(NOTE: This is NOT a research paper - it is a research-oriented experience in which students gather information. They can prepare outlines, note-cards, bibliography, cite references, or practice any combination of these skills associated with preparing a research paper. The use of the Internet is also encouraged.)

Prepare an investigative project that focuses on any one of the following topics associated with or suggested by the film, Apollo 13.

a) history of the Apollo space missions
b) science fiction films about outer space
c) career of Tom Hanks
d) space exploration - the new millennium

Standard College Essay

Many issues arise from the analysis and discussion of the film, Apollo 13. Some of these issues involve: the history of space exploration, the role of science and technology in the future, and the values associated with team work and heroism. In a full-length essay (approximately 400-500 words), later to be revised for content and correctness, discuss any of the issues raised in the film, Apollo 13 that you consider to be of special interest either for yourself or for society. Explain why and how these issues are significant not only in the film but also in relationship to your own life, society, or even both. You may refer to this film or any other, past or recent historical events as presented in any form of media coverage, and other people's opinions.

Event Photos Apollo 13 - November 17, 2008

Apollo 13
Apollo 13
Apollo 13

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