Reflection: Safety The Depths and Death of Space - Section 2: Isaac Asimov and the Last Question


This is a lesson about large numbers and exponential intuition, but the story is about our questions about the future. I am always careful with this story and lesson because it might challenge the spiritual beliefs of some students.

Asimov writes about billions of years of human history in 13 pages and I feel like I get a glimpse of the complete and total future. In the story, you imagine the human race expanding as the universe is dying. I know it sounds morbid and depressing, but the ending is fantastic and the story is the kind that makes you stop and think about your life and the role of humanity in the history of all time.

Its a fun lesson for me to teach with my students because we get to use math to talk about powerful and emotional themes that usually only pop up in humanities' classes. 

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The Depths and Death of Space

Unit 11: Law and Order: Special Exponents Unit
Lesson 11 of 17

Objective: SWBAT to use exponential reasoning to discuss the Isaac Asimov's short story, "The Last Question."

Big Idea: Science fiction is a great resource for math class!

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Math, Exponents and Exponential Functions, Exponents, isaac asimov, super computer, very large numbers, properties of exponents, Math 8, exponentiation, Laws of Algebra, skill development
  60 minutes
a field of ancient dead stars
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