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Discover the Science Behind the Magic of Harry Potter

 

One reason the magic in the world of Harry Potter is so compelling is that some of it has a basis in real-world science. Explore how scientific fields like genetics, chemistry, botany and zoology are reflected in the Harry Potter books and movies.

Students will explore the science of Harry Potter through video clips, presentations, discussions and group work. We will discuss the evidence of genetics, such as red hair among the Weasleys and Hagrid’s size, inherited from his giantess mother. We will look at the fantastic beasts in the books and consider which are most realistic and how use of science realism makes the impossible seem plausible. Students will consider the science behind Hogwarts’ Potions class and do a chemistry experiment. They will Identify herbs used in Herbology class and learn about their attributes and medical applications. Students will enjoy this class most if they have read at least one Harry Potter book or seen at least one of the movies, although prior knowledge is not required.

What You Will Learn

 

Understand how scientific fields like genetics, chemistry, botany and zoology are reflected in the Harry Potter books and movies.

  • Discuss evidence of genetics in the Harry Potter stories.
  • Explore which fantastic beasts are most realistic.
  • Understand how science realism makes the impossible seem plausible.
  • Look at the science behind Potions class in the books and do a chemistry experiment.
  • Identify herbs used in Herbology class and learn about their attributes and medical applications.

Return to the Sally Ride Science Junior Academy website here.

Note: Upon successful enrollment of a section, students will receive a confirmation email from our Student Services team. This email will include a link to an authorization form that is required to be completed within 72-hours of enrollment. 

In response to COVID-19 health guidelines, we have restructured our in-person Junior Academy workshops as
online courses. Contact us at srs@ucsd.edu if you have questions.

 

Course Number: SCI-90016
Credit: 1.50 unit(s)

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