Computers: Big as a House, Small as an Envelope
Mamie Eisenhower: Science, Medicine, Inventions and tech
Skill: High School/College
Time Required: One to two class periods
The growth of computers can be measured in their shrinking size! Their importance to modern life cannot be overestimated. A computer has been the focus of evil (Hal in 2001: A Space Odyssey) and of misunderstanding (Star Trek: The Motion Picture). The early development of computers took place during Mamie’s lifetime, and, in fact, an early computer called Univac correctly predicted the 1952 election results -- on live television-- that brought Dwight D. Eisenhower into the White House.
1. Ask students if they remember not having computers in the school, libraries, or their homes.
2. Divide students into small groups to conduct research on the early manifestations of computers and how they were portrayed in film. The following topics should get students started; however, they should be able to find many more of interest:
This lesson was developed by Bette Brooks, Kent State University.