Middle School, High School
Astronomy, Broadcast Engineering, Journalism, Microbiology, Physics (Lasers and Heat Rays), Planetary Science, Psychology (Mass Hysteria), Alien Life, Space Travel
The War of the Worlds H.G. Wells’s classic tale of alien invasion. This often-adapted novel tells the story of human kind’s first contact with an alien race and the destruction that results. STEM Read encourages you to read the novel and listen to the panic-inducing 1938 radio adaptation by Orson Welles.
We worked with Northern Public Radio and school and library groups to create our own modern-day adaptation. The Martians have landed in DeKalb County and they did not come in peace!
STEM Read's War of the Worlds Broadcast
Heat Rays with Jeremy Benson
Telling Stories with Sound with WNIJ's Jenna Dooley
Finding the Right Sound Bite with WNIJ's Sue Stephens
Acting for Radio with Retro Reactionaries and Director Kara Wilkins
Creating Radio Sound Effects with the Retro Reactionaries
The Changing Voices of Radio with WNIJ Reporters
Asking "What if" in H.G. Wells
NIU Observatory's Daniel Stange's Favorite Celestial Body
Seeing the Planets and Beyond with NIU Observatory's Daniel Stange
NIU's Observatory Highlights
The Wonders of Mars and H.G. Wells at NIU's Observatory
Amazing Audio Events
On October 30, 1938, an episode titled The War of the Worlds was aired over the Columbia Broadcasting System radio network. Directed and narrated by Orson Welles, the episode was an adaptation of H. G. Wells’ novel The War of the Worlds. The first two thirds of the 60-minute broadcast were presented as a series of simulated “news bulletins”, which suggested to many listeners that an actual alien invasion by Martians was currently in progress. In this ELA, History, and Theater Arts lesson, students will produce a digital audio production for an amazing imaginary event of their own creation.
The Telescope’s Tale
The telescope has helped humans both satisfy and whet their curiosity about outer space. Normally, a biography is about a person. In this interesting twist, students create a biography or autobiography of the telescope. The telescope dates back to the very early 1600s so there are plenty of events to choose from when telling this tale.
Video Discussion Guide
Watch the videos and then use these questions to facilitate classroom discussions about the topics presented.
Everything pop culture has taught you has probably come from the works of H.G. Wells, the father of Science Fiction. Alien invasions? Check! Mad scientists playing God? Check! Time machines? Check! Invisible men? Check. Herbert George Wells was born in Bromley, Kent, England in 1866. He worked as a teacher, historian, journalist, and a novelist and was one of the first writers to incorporate cutting-edge science into fictional works. He also used his fiction to hold a mirror up to society to show both humanity’s strengths and flaws. For more information, visit the H.G. Wells Society
- The Time Machine
- The Invisible Man
- The Island of Doctor Moreau
- The War of the Worlds
- The First Men in the Moon
- The Shape of Things to Come