Realistic fiction novels are a proven, effective, and FUN way to enjoy learning about any topic–especially for school-age children. History, biographies, science, psychology….and we also have rocket science and engineering!! Ken Hardman is a fellow aerospace engineer (AKA rocket scientist) at a Big aerospace company, who is also a talented short story writer.
He has really created a tremendous amount and quality of realistic fiction writing. And he has a lot of it for free!
Take a look at his Engineering Stories website and you’ll see stories classified by over two dozen categories or topics! Not only the broad topic of STEM but also more specific topics like robotics, Mars, and smart phones.
From what I know, his stories are geared toward middle and high school students. And he makes a point to include girls in active, positive roles. We definitely need more of that!
If you are a teacher that needs to include realistic fiction in your curriculum, let’s consider some options. You could assign some of these stories for a STEM-minded student to read, after you got familiar with them. But that is more work for you and also removes the element of choice and exploration from the student. Why not point your STEM-minded student to the website and ask them to do the research and reporting back for you?? Then you’ll both learn something (you’ve learned the art of delegation and empowerment) and it’s a bigger, more engaging win-win for everyone.
Based on what I see on Ken’s website from other teachers or parents, if you ask him for some specific guidance or tailoring he just might reply to you directly.
I mention Ken’s Engineering Stories in my book with Tip #4: Read a book on rocket science. Ken has a book available on Amazon. So check out Engineering Stories and put some realistic engineering fiction (maybe even rocket science) into your fiction reading.