The Pioneer 10 plaque was the first purposeful interstellar message designed to contact extraterrestrial life. Contained within the simple pictorial message are elements that indicate humankind's location in the Milky Way galaxy, who sent the message, and that people use symbolic communication. This Great Idea for Teaching is designed to illustrate a variety of basic communication concepts using the Pioneer 10 plaque including communication's interpretive nature, denotative and connotative meaning, issues of gender and diversity, and the Triangle of Meaning.

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