The most thrilling and realistic depiction of deep-space travel since “2001”?

We are enormously grateful to the BRILLIANT team at Start Motion Pictures, who have VERY generously given us the script for “Europa Report” to use in a special SkypeRead project for scientists and engineers.

“Europa Report” is the story of a manned mission to search for life on Europa, an icy moon of Jupiter. Space.com called it “one of the most thrilling and realistic depictions of deep-space exploration since ‘Moon’ or ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’.”

We’ll be doing read-throughs of “Europa Report” with cross-border groups of STEM practitioners. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is an area where international collaboration is becoming increasingly important, as this report by the Royal Society highlights.

But there are barriers. This report for the UK government, for instance, found that STEM graduates lacked “broader behavioural skills” such as “teamworking” and “communication”.

The aim of SkypeRead is to use the excitement and pressure of a movie read-through as a way to develop teamworking and communication skills. The project was inspired by neuroELT, an emerging field that combines neuroscience and English Language Teaching. An important idea within neuroELT is that “emotion drives learning”: things that excite the brain are things that get processed and gain potential for future recall.

I’ll be talking more about the project at the FAB5 International NeuroELT Conference in Kitakyushu, Japan, next month. Together with Tom Gorham (from Komazawa University in Tokyo), I’ve been appointed programme co-chair for this conference, so I’d also like to pass on my enormous thanks to the FAB conference founders: Robert Murphy, Marc Helgesen, Curtis Kelly and Tim Murphey, plus Joseph Shaules.

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