In the spring semester of 2020, our 10th graders conducted a semester-long exploration of dystopian societies, with the final project being to design their own dystopias. The students worked in different groups to look at the factors that might have led to each of their societies, covering everything from waste management to artificial intelligence to extra-terrestrial impact to viral outbreak. (The outbreak of Covid-19 lent a very realistic perspective to this group’s project.)
In Sociology, students explored the societal factors that might affect a dystopia, and created board games to display power in their society based on race, class and gender. In English, they read the book Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, and wrote both a constitution for their dystopia and a research paper analyzing what resources (e.g., water, food, air) will look like in their society. In Environmental Science, students studied the environmental impacts in each of their dystopias.