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        Bill Nye: Science Guy | Solar Sailing: Lesson Plan Clips

        Bill Nye is a man on a mission: to grow appreciation and excitement for scientific thinking across the world. The former star of the popular kids show Bill Nye the Science Guy is now advocating for the importance of science, research and discovery in public life. With intimate and exclusive access—as well as plenty of wonder and whimsy—this behind-the-scenes portrait of Nye follows him as he takes off his Science Guy lab coat and takes on those who deny climate change, evolution and a science-based world view. Directed by David Alvarado and Jason Sussberg, the film features Bill Nye, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Ann Druyan and many others. 

        As CEO of the Planetary Society, Bill Nye leads the largest nonprofit organization dedicated to educating about space exploration. In this lesson, students will explore one of the promising innovations of space exploration, solar sail technology. Students will learn how solar sailing works, who is involved, how the technology has been tested and where it is headed in the future. 

        These video clips support a lesson plan about solar sailing and science communication.

        Clip 1: "Bill! Bill! Bill!"

        This clip demonstrates Bill Nye’s popularity among a generation of young people who saw his public television show, "Bill Nye the Science Guy." Nye’s mission was to make young people more excited about science and encourage them to pursue science as adults, and he was obviously quite successful.

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        Clip 2: "The Wind from the Sun"

        This clip includes information about the concept of solar sailing, what it meant to the Planetary Society’s founder Carl Sagan and why it’s important for space travel.

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        Clip 3: “The Test—Realizing a 40-Year Dream”

        This clip starts at 58:38 with Bill walking through a door on the day of a LightSail 2 spacecraft test and ends at 1:03:18 with Ann Druyan describing the devastation of the first solar sail launch.

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        Clip 4: “Somewhere, Something Incredible Is Waiting to Be Known"

        This clip begins at 1:27:24 with Bill on the beach at sunset as he contemplates the Planetary Society’s second attempt at launching solar sail spacecraft. The film ends at 1:33:42 young science enthusiasts reaffirming Bill Nye’s influence on making science exciting and accessible to a generation.

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