A list compiled by Andrew Franknoi, of science fiction stories that can be used to illustrate topics such as black holes, anti-matter, dark matter, cosmology, quantum mechanics, quasars, comets, supernovae, thermodynamics, particle physics, or neutron stars.
A directory of free science fiction stories with a bioscience twist that may prove useful in illustrating concepts in biology. Explore stories by topic: anthropology, ecology, evolution, cryonics, parasites, transhumanism, human-machine interfaces, cloning, immortality, epidemics, among many others.
Reading for the Future is a grass roots group of parents, teachers and librarians that have banded together to help excite children, to inspire them to read, to study, and to learn by effectively using Science Fiction (SF, Sci Fi) in the classroom. It was launched by the famous "Killer Bees" letter - from authors Greg Bear, Gregory Benford and David Brin - proposing that SF readers and fans owe it to themselves, to their genre and to kid (above all) to help expand the circle of those enjoying the literature of thinking people!
RFF will work with teachers to provide content for the classroom. And look for its events at the large sci fi conventions (including world-con) near you!
Increasingly, teachers wish to integrate disciplines such as science, social issues, and literature. Science fiction appeals to many students who might otherwise struggle with literature. The following is a resource list of science fiction short stories and novels that might be used either as an interdisciplinary teaching unit for teachers, an enrichment exercise in your biology course. Topics that might arise include: genetics, cloning, food in the future, medicine in the future, eugenics, and restoring extinct species.
The popularity of books such as The Physics of Star Trek is making lecturers and teachers consider a new way of teaching science - through blockbuster movies. Science fiction movies are well known for breaking physical laws, and although Scotty, the chief engineer on Star Trek, frequently protested that he "could not break the laws of physics", the spaceship itself frequently did. This has not stopped books that explain the physics behind the series becoming extremely popular.
How can we use science fiction, zombies and comic books to help convey advanced science concepts to a non-science audience? It's easier than you might think. Zombies can be used to teach about virus outbreaks and infectious diseases. Superheroes can be used to teach about the forces of physics: how fast was Superman going? Asimov's works can be used to discuss what it means to be human...and how we might create artificial life. Star Trek can be used to discuss the limits of the physical universe and the speed of light. .
If science fiction ruled the world, time travel and teleportation would be commonplace, and humanlike intelligent machines and cyborgs would be walking amongst us. But just how likely are these and other far-out ideas? A look at Faster-than-lightspeed travel, invisibility cloaks, tractor beams.. and the robopocalypse.
We describe a one‐quarter seminar course on ’’Modern Physics through Science Fiction.’’ This course is designed as a supplement to the conventional introductory series of physics courses taken by undergraduates in the biological sciences.
MIT researchers Dan Novy and Sophia Brueckner argue that the mind-bending worlds of authors such as Philip K. Dick and Arthur C. Clarke can help us not just come up with ideas for new gadgets, but anticipate their consequences. Science fiction can be used to inspire a new generation to think about the technologies of the future.
Sci Fi legend and university professor James Gunn offers insights on teaching science fiction. The kinds of subjects that can be taught through SF involve social and physical sciences, history, ideas, futurology, religion, morality, ecology, reading skills, and many others. Gun's special project (which I have assisted) is the Center for Science Fiction at the University of Kansas... and especially the AboutSF Project. http://www.aboutsf.com/ About SF offers a database of resources for teachers seeking to use Science Fiction in the classroom. It also links to the new Speculation Speaker's Bureau which connects corporations, agencies and even local schools and libraries to either local or nationally known speakers on topics ranging from technology to literature to fantasy to films to the Shape of Things to Come!
Gregory Benford, Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction author and physics professor at the University of California, Irvine, writes, "Mustering the fantastic in the cause of the real, or the reverse, can be useful teaching strategies. Illuminating physical law through science fictional thought experiments can awaken students’ inventive, playful side. Physics constrains action in ways that call up further study of the underlying physical laws."
Benford discusses the use of Niven's Neutron Star and Ringworld, as well as Hal Clement's Mission of Gravity and Walter Tevis' The Big Bounce to present concepts of physics to students.
Author Brian Stableford discusses the forward-looking technology of science fiction, presented in the works of authors such as Charlotte Parkins Gilman , H.G. Wells, James Blish and Aldous Huxley. In many of these works, advances in biotechnology play a key role in shaping human society -- from cloning tissues to extending the human lifespan, from conquering disease to altering the intelligence of animals, from creating monsters to melding the human mind to machine. Speculative literature has provided a laboratory for exploring the ramifications -- good and bad -- of possible innovations in biotechnology.
Author Julie Czerneda is one of those who have labored to create materials useful to teachers and librarians using "the good stuff" to entice bright young minds. Here you will find her article, "Why use Science Fiction," as well as classroom resources and anthologies of stories.
Movies can captivate kids' attention -- and they can be used to illustrate basic science concepts in the real world. From Apollo 13 to The Right Stuff, from Lorenzo's Oil to Awakenings, from Contact to Gattaca, historical and science fiction films can be used pique student's interest.
A sampling of short stories and other resources that can be used to teach science. For example, Tank Farm Dynamo has been used widely to teach some principles of physics; It illustrates ideas of micro-gravity, orbital dynamics and the problems of life support in outer space. The Giving Plague: Explores concepts of biology ranging from disease and symbiosis to safety of the blood supply, to the very nature of altruism.
How can popular movies be used to address issues of scientific illiteracy? This NSTA paper discusses the advantages and challenges of using science fiction movies and TV shows to introduce scientific concepts in an elementary classroom.
"Mass Effect is epic. It’s the product of the best parts of Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica and more with a protagonist who could be the love-child of Picard, Skywalker, and Starbuck. It’..." This article looks at the big concepts presented in the universe of Mass Effect: The Medium, The Message, The Philosophy.