Using Tess Gerritsen Novels in the Science Classroom

I’ve received a number of queries from high school and college teachers around the country who tell me they’ve used my books to illustrate scientific principles in their classrooms. Many of them ask which of my books are particularly useful for science classrooms, and which topics they cover. So for science teachers everywhere (and I think that every single one of you is a hero!) I thought I’d offer some suggestions as to which books might inspire lively discussions in your classrooms. Many of my books touch upon a variety of scientific and medical subjects. In the following novels, here are some of the topics that may launch some great teaching points:

GRAVITY

1. Boyle’s Law (the relationship between pressure and volume) is a vital element of the GRAVITY plot. In particular, the scenes involving spacewalks and emergency decompression, emphasize the life-and-death nature of understanding this law.

2. Microbiology: The biology of Archaeons. For more information, check out my entry on this topic in my Creepy Biological Facts section: https://www.tessgerritsen.com/story.cfm?CID=15

3. Anatomy: The pathology of plane crash and other deceleration deaths. This topic is mentioned briefly in Creepy Biological Facts here: https://www.tessgerritsen.com/story.cfm?CID=17.

4. Physiology: The effects of microgravity on humans, from space sickness to deconditioning to osteoporosis.

5. The medical and psychological problems of prolonged space habitation.

BLOODSTREAM

1. Microbiology: Amoebic meningitis. For more information, check out the page devoted to this subject in my Creepy Biological Facts section: https://www.tessgerritsen.com/story.cfm?CID=8

2. Parasitology: Tapeworms. The sometimes devastating medical effects of Taenia solium, the pork tapeworm.

THE SURGEON

1. Forensic science: Hair and fiber analysis. 2. Medicine: Disseminated intravascular coagulation.

THE SINNER

1. Leprosy. The biology and history of Mycobacterium leprae. Skeletal changes in severe disease.

2. Medicine: Death by methyl isocyanate and the catastrophe at Bhopal.

LIFE SUPPORT

1. Mad Cow Disease (Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease) and Prions. This topic is explored in Creepy Biological Facts (https://www.tessgerritsen.com/story.cfm?CID=4)

HARVEST

1. Transplant medicine

2. Ethical dilemmas in organ matching

1 reply
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