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STEM Movie Spotlight: Jurassic World

By Rital Miller and Joslyn Stamp

Jurassic World features love, the wild, and all things dinosaurs. Off the coast of Costa Rica, Jurassic World is a luxury resort with a theme park filled with habitats of genetically engineered dinosaurs. When a large and dangerous dinosaur, named the Indominous Rex, gets out of containment, it leads the other dinosaurs to flee their own habitats. Owen Grady is invited by the head of the park, Claire Dearing, to help fix the situation while also saving her nephews who have been stranded somewhere in the park.

This movie includes STEM by showing aspects of genetic engineering. Scientists in this movie clone the DNA left behind on the fossils of these ancient dinosaurs. But in real life, cloning DNA has only been done on living animals, not those extinct. Additionally, DNA decays during the fossilization process which would make extracting dinosaur DNA almost impossible. T-sex soft tissue has been discovered almost 68 million years ago, but the DNA left behind isn’t enough to be able to replicate it. The movie does use a lot of dinosaurs we have identified through fossils and put a visual element to them. When animating these dinosaurs, researchers put in extra time to make sure they were as accurate as possible to things as big as their size and as small as the teeth in their mouths. So although the movie doesn’t have the best explanation of how these dinosaurs could be created, they still try to accurately depict each dinosaur for every viewer.

This movie spreads a grand message of the consequences we may face when tampering with nature for human amusement and profit. Scientists brought back extinct animals to hold in confinement and display within the park. There are some characters, like Owen Grady, who spend time with the animals like Velociraptors. Yet he still wants to train them to be less hostile which goes against their natural instinct of survival. One of the biggest flaws the scientists had was their development of the Indominus Rex which is a hybrid made from the DNA of numerous dinosaurs including the Carnotarus, Giganotosaurus, Velociraptor, Tyrannosaurus Rex, and more. The scientists created such a dangerous dinosaur that once it got out of its containment zone it could not be stopped.

Jurassic World offers many career paths like zoology Jurassic World. Main character, Owen Grady, played by Chris Pratt is a zoologist for Jurassic World. A zoologist is a type of biologist that studies animal interactions in and outside the wild. Primarily in the movie, Owen Grady works on dinosaurs but zoologists can study a diverse number of animals at a time. Another character who describes himself as a “chaotician” or really a mathematician is Ian Malcolm. Ian Malcom works on safety in the park and thus, creates chaos therapy. The theory entails that it is impossible to create an ecosystem perfectly accustomed to the dinosaur's desired habitat. Ian Malcom and many other mathematicians analyze and study data to help better society. Finally, a number of characters in this movie are paleontologists. Paleontologists work on the study of fossilized life of the past. For example, fishes, mammals, birds, and you guessed it, dinosaurs of life past.

Overall, this movie is action-packed with thrills and suspenseful moments. We would recommend this movie to anyone. As it shows much STEM representation through its career paths and gets the viewers to like science through dinosaurs! We would recommend this movie to anyone 6+ because of the intense scenes and how dinosaurs could come off as scary for younger viewers.

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