Science Curriculum-Instruction-Assessment that includes historical vignettes & case studies, humor, discrepant event demonstrations, real-world applications (including mathematics) and STS issues/controversies sends a message that science should be considered a “FUNdaMENTAL humanity.” That is, science has been and continues to be a very human endeavor carried out by an ethnically, politically, and personally diverse group of individuals united by a common “need to know &/or create” drive. If presented this way, science invites students to participate in the ongoing process by opening their minds and increasing their motivation to do the “hard work” necessary to be involved in the “game of scientific play.” The following references can help you show your students that science is a human adventure worth pursuing as either a vocation or avocation and “a” useful lens through which to view both human history and the natural world. For an extensive listing of live links to Internet resources on these same topics, go to the Binghamton University, SEHD, Center for Science, Mathematics and Technology Education website:


Trans- & Interdisciplinary Science & Science-Technology-Society

Baker, David. (2000). Inventions from Outer Space: Everyday Uses of NASA Technology. Scientific American Books/Random House Reference. 128p; 60+ inventions each get a 2-page spread with a brief overview, several illustrations, & a generous description of the technology & its development.

Biddle, Wayne. (1998). A Field Guide to the Invisible. NY: Holt. 185pp with 58 essays that explores the A - Z range of everyday phenomena that impact out lives but are "out-of-sight and out-of-mind" including a variety of chemicals, microscopic life, EM radiation/forces, etc. See also: A Field Guide to Germs. (1995).

Bodanis, D. (1997). The Secret House: 24 Hours Inside the Mysterious World of Our Minds and Bodies. 222pp with color photos & engaging text follow a family of five to discover the extraordinary biology underlying an ordinary day. (1992). The Secret Garden: Dawn to Dusk in the Astonishing Hidden World of the Garden. 187pp explores the familiar, yet mysterious & often unseen domain where plants & insects engage in a Darwinian epic of survival. (1986). The Secret House: 24 Hours in the Strange and Unexpected World in Which We Spend Our Nights and Days. Includes full-color electron microscope photos of the "unseen" world. See also visually engaging video based on 1986 book: Secret House at 118 Green Street. All three books: NY: Simon & Schuster.

Brinckerhoff, Richard F. (1992). One-Minute Readings: Issues in Science, Technology and Society. Dale Seymour Publications. NY: Addison-Wesley. 136pp; seventy-four, 1-2 page STS issues for infusion of real-world issues into science classes.

Campbell, V., Lofstrom, J. & Jerome, B. (1997). Decisions Based on Science. Arlington, VA: National Science Teachers Assn. 129pp student/teacher guide of STS activities for gr.9-12.

Caney, Steven. (1985). Invention Book. NY: Workman Publishing Co. A 207pp project book for the would-be inventor with activities, a list of contraptions in need of inventing, and the history of 36 inventions (middle school level).

Gates, Phil. (1995). Nature Got There First: Inventions Inspired by Nature. NY: Kingfisher. 80pp with index and full-color drawings and photos.

Gribben, John R. (1999). Almost Everyone’s Guide to Science: The Universe, Life, and Everything. Yale Univ. Press. 232pp; a nonscientist’s tour of modern science over 30 orders of magnitude of size.

Hazen, Robert M. & Trefil, James. (1990). Science Matters: Achieving Scientific Literacy. NY: Doubleday. Also: The Sciences: An Integrated Approach. (2001): a college, non-majors textbook that provides an integrated overview of science.

Jones, Charlotte Foltz. (1991). Mistakes that Worked: 40 Familiar Inventions and How They Came to Be. NY: Doubleday Book for Young Readers. 82pp./middle school & up reading level.

Lindsay, David. (2002). House of Invention: The Secret Life of Everyday Products. Lyons Press. Whimsical vignettes chronicles the history of 21 creative, household conveniences. See also: Panati's Extraordinary Origins of Everyday Things.

Macaulay, David. (200?/revised ed.). The New Ways Things Work: From Levers to Lasers, Windmills to Web Sites: A Visual Guide to the World of Machines. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Morowitz, Harold. (2002). The Emergence of Everything: How the World Became Complex. Oxford University Press. Provides a sweeping tour of the evolution of the universe, earth, life & humans in 28 stops/steps, each which highlights an important moment of emergence. Also includes some discussion of the religious implications of “emergence” [whole >> sum of the parts].

Newton, David. (1992). Science and Social Issues. Portland, Maine: J. Weston Walch. 235pp; 60+ STS issues/cases for high school students to discuss; references are dated, but most issues remain in the news today. Good teacher resource.

Pantati, Charles. (1989). Extraordinary Endings of Practically Everything and Everybody.

(1987). Extraordinary Origins of Everyday Things. NY: Harper & Row. 460+pp (with index) trace historic endings (origins) of over 500 everyday items, expressions & customs.

Platt, Charles (1989). When You Can Live Twice as Long, What Will You. Do and 99 Other Questions You May Have to Answer...Sooner Than You Think. NY: William Morrow & Co, 116pp of provocative STS related questions to use as class discussion starters.

Wright, M. & Patel, M. (2000). Scientific American How Things Work. NY: Random House. Covers over 100 topics with accessible text & more than 600 annotated 3D illustrations & color photos. See also books by Bloomfield (physics section of this bibliography) and Macaulay.

Wynn, Charles & Wiggens, Arthur. (1997). The Five Biggest Ideas in Science. NY: Barnes & Noble. [atom, periodic law, big bang, plate tectonics & evolution].

Last Updated: 3/28/16