An increasing number of high school seniors are opting to watch movies on television instead of going to the theater, a trend that’s prompting a growing number of parents to voice their concerns about the lack of educational value in the industry.
Stevenson High School sophomore Jacob Steinson was among the first in the state to tell his parents that he wanted to go see The Martian, an ambitious sci-fi epic that stars Matthew McConaughey as astronaut Scott Cooper, who finds himself stranded on Mars.
Steinson, who graduated from the school in September, said the experience has changed his outlook on school, and has given him a greater understanding of science.
“It has definitely made me appreciate life a little bit more,” Steinson told The Jerusalem POST on Thursday.
“When I was at school, I was just interested in science, so it was like the only thing I really cared about was science,” he said.
Steynson said the movie gave him an opportunity to see more of the world.
“I’ve seen the movie twice now, and I’ve been watching it, so I can see things from other perspectives,” he added.
“I can see how people get frustrated with the world, and it’s a very relatable story.”
Steyns parents, who are Jewish, are concerned about the impact that high school may have on their child’s future career prospects.
“We want to see a young person who is capable of working hard and who understands that it’s not about the money,” said Steinson’s father, Rabbi Michael Steinson.
“Our goal is to raise a generation of high-achieving people, not just the kids who have the money but the ones who are able to be a part of that,” he told the Jerusalem Post.
Steins parents are also concerned about how students may be able to find out more about science and technology from films.
“The more we watch movies, the more they see the world and they know about it, the better off they are,” Steins father said.
“This is the time that kids learn more about the world around them.
It’s the time they get to meet other people, and they can make friends and get jobs.”
Steins father also worries about the negative effect that a lack of exposure to science and science education may have in the long run on the future of his son’s future.
“If I had a son who didn’t have the resources to do well in science and math, he would never get to be in a great science career,” he argued.
“And that would be sad, because he’s going to be the first person who thinks that the world is unfair.
He’s going do well because he has good resources and the right attitude,” he stressed.
According to the National Science Foundation, about 5 percent of U.S. high school students are expected to graduate from high school with a science degree by 2025.