For science fiction fans, this week marks a milestone that’s been 30 years in the making, ever since Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox), Jennifer Parker (Claudia Wells), and Dr. Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd) took the DeLorean time machine into the future at the end of the 1985 film Back to the Future. “Back to the Future Day” refers to October 21, 2015, the future date that they travel to in the popular 1989 film Back to the Future II.
The characters find themselves in a world that’s highly advanced technologically, and not entirely realistic but not totally unlike the 2015 that we know now. In the movie, electric cars quietly hum around the streets. We’ve got those! A hologram for Jaws 19 pops out of a theater marquee. Movies do come in 3D nowadays! When bad guy Griff gets arrested at the Courthouse Mall, a drone takes his photo for USA Today. As of 2015, drones are definitely here to stay! Marty’s kids wear high-tech goggles to the dinner table. Just like modern virtual reality glasses! The McFlys’ future home has a large wall-mounted flat screen with video conferencing. We have those today, too!
This past summer, Lexus introduced a hoverboard that utilizes magnets and superconductors to defy gravity, laying the groundwork for future hoverboard technology to become a reality. Tinker Hatfield, a shoe designer at Nike, says that Marty McFly’s self-tying sneakers are on the horizon. People have even invented flying cars, although they don’t look like the DeLorean from the movie. And finally, the Chicago Cubs in the Back to the Future universe win the World Series in 2015. As of right now, they can still make that happen.
Every era has its own fashion trends, and in Back to the Future II, Doc Brown advises Marty: “Pull out your pants pockets. All kids in the future wear their pants inside-out.” You can celebrate “Back to the Future Day” simply by reaching into your pockets and pulling them out! At the same time, have your kids put on their creative thinking hats and write or draw something to answer the following questions:
What do you imagine the future will be like 30 years from now? What do you think you will be doing in the year 2045?
Make a time capsule in which to save your predictions, and then wait to see if any of them come true!
Make a Time Capsule
Look around your house and find things that were made in the year 2015 or that have something to do with the year 2015. Here are some ideas:
Coins (pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters) dated 2015
Reports you wrote for school
Poems or drawings you made this year
Magazines and newspapers
Photos of your family, friends, home and neighborhood
Happy Meal toys or other collectible objects
Postmarked/dated letters or stamped postcards
Movie or concert ticket stubs
Birthday cards or other greeting cards
A signed, handwritten letter to the future
Year 2015 Fact Sheet
(Write down the following information to keep in your time capsule.)
Name & Address:
Height & Weight:
Favorite Famous Person:
Favorite TV Show:
Favorite Computer Games:
Favorite School Subjects:
Trips I took this year:
A brief autobiography:
An outline of my typical day:
The best thing that happened to me in 2015:
The worst thing that happened in 2015:
The thing I remember most about 2015:
My Predictions for the Future:
My Three Wishes for the Future:
What I want to be when I grow up:
Choose a metal or plastic container with a tight-fitting seal to keep air and dampness out. Metal cookie or popcorn tins, or even Ziploc bags work well. The size will depend on how much you are saving. Put a drying compound (activated charcoal, baking soda, or silica gel desiccant) in the container to absorb any moisture. For extra protection, seal around the edges with duct tape. Place a label on it with your name, date, and instructions (“Peter’s 2015 Time Capsule: Do not open till 2045.”) A time capsule doesn’t have to be buried in the backyard. You can store it on a shelf, in a closet, or any cool dry place. Keep it to show your kids or remind your future self what life was like in the year 2015.