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Teaching science with science fiction

ideal sci fi bookshelf

Based on an original painting by Jane Mount http://www.idealbookshelf.com/products/ideal-bookshelf-567-scifi


Based on an original painting by Jane Mount

General websites

Using Science Fiction to teach Science

Earth Science

The Core: Good Science and Bad Science in the Movie

2012: Analyze the Earth Science
[ … ]

Deep Impact


Biology & Ecology


The Hunger Games




World War Z”, zombies – and viruses

Dr. Steven C. Schlozman, professor at Harvard Medical School, gives a discussion of the brain’s frontal lobe, amygdala, Anterior Cingulate Cortex, cerebellum, basal ganglia, mirror neurons, and ventromedial hypothalamus.


Texas Instruments (TI), the company that made the graphing calculator the most ubiquitous learning tool since the book, is giving teachers everywhere an invaluable new tool for teaching science and math: zombies. Zombies on graphing calculators, no less. The walkers aren’t alone, either. Their ambassador is actress (and scientist IRL) Mayim Bialik. The woman we all knew as Blossom, before she got a PhD in neuroscience and joined the cast of The Big Bang Theory, has helped TI develop a program that teaches middle and high school students science, technology, engineering, and math (Stem). The program uses models of zombie outbreaks loaded onto TI graphing calculators, computers, or iPads to demonstrate everything from brain damage (natch) to the patterns in which disease spreads. It’s brilliant, really. Students, inundated by walkers from World War Z to The Walking Dead, already understand the basics of zombie behaviour, which provides a gruesome yet entertaining mnemonic device for understanding much more complex ideas.

Wonder why Zombies, Zombie Apocalypse, and Zombie Preparedness continue to live or walk dead on a CDC web site? As it turns out what first began as a tongue in cheek campaign to engage new audiences with preparedness messages has proven to be a very effective platform. We continue to reach and engage a wide variety of audiences on all hazards preparedness via Zombie Preparedness.

Teaching physics with science fiction

Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics

Grading the physics in some major motion pictures

Physics on Film pages in The Physics Factbook™

The Physics Factbook™ for 2007

The Physics Factbook™ for 2006

The Physics Factbook™ for 2005

Rotational motion

Short Story “Spirals” by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle.
First appeared in Jim Baen’s Destinies, April-June 1979.
Cornelius L Riggs, Metallurgist, answers an ad claiming “high pay, long hours, high risk. Guaranteed wealthy in ten years if you live through it.” The position turns out to be an engineering post aboard humanity’s orbiting habitat. The founders of “the Shack” dream of a liveable biosphere beyond Earth’s gravity, a permanent settlement in space. However, Earth’s the economic conditions are getting worse, and the supply ships become more and more infrequent…

SPIRALS – The short story.doc

Teaching astronomy and astrophysics with science fiction

List of short stories and novels that use more or less accurate science, and can be used for teaching astronomy or physics concepts.

Scientific investigations into the fiction of Howard Phillips Lovecraft


German Poo-Caamano (CC BY-NC-ND)
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