Scene 1: Introduction
What happens: The show opens with a movie about Pangea and plate tectonics. Afterwards, the narrators introduce the show foreshadowing the roles of the two heroes (Wegener and Hess). The newskid proclaims that Wegener has died and wonders whether his theories will be supported.
Newskid – Newspaper bag and paperboy hat
Learn the script. Speak slowly, loudly and with emotion. Keep pace. Make good contact with audience.
Narrator 1: You are about to see death,
Narrator 2: hostility,
Narrator 1: perserverance,
Narrator 2: and triumph!
Narrator 1: One hero will die an outcast!
Narrator 2: A second hero will emerge!
Narrator 1: This is not fantasy.
Narrator 2: This is science!
Narrator 1: This is the story of plate tectonics…
Narrator 2: …the story of continental drift.
Narrator 1: Let’s join our first hero, Alfred Wegener in Greenland in 1930.
Newskid: Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Alfred Wegener found dead on a glacier. Will his theories be supported?
Narrators – T-shirts
Newskid – Vest, newspaper bag, newspaper
Spotlight narrators and newskid. Use flashing for newskid.
The scientific journey
The supercontinent Pangea existed 225 million years ago. Over time it broke into seven pieces. These pieces looked like North America, South America, Africa, Europe and Asia as a single piece, Antarctica, Australia and India. More information is available in the video on the TCUideafactory.org website.
Alfred Wegener was a German meteorologist, not a geologist. By 1915, he combined multiple pieces of scientific evidence to support his theory of Pangea. This evidence included shape of the continents, distribution of fossils around the globe, climate data from glaciers, patterns in the chains of mountains that cross the continents, and the distribution of gold. Most of the scientific community, especially geologists, did not believe his idea. He was an outcast.
Wegener continued doing climate research, and died tragically in Greenland in 1930 by freezing to death. He was 50 years old. He would never know that 30 years later, his idea would be widely accepted by everyone. He would never know that Pangea, his theory of plate tectonics, and the concept of continental drift would be chapters in middle school textbooks across the world.