Bangor Students on a zoom call with bluShift Aerospace CEO Sascha Deri

When English and Science come together, you get some of the most memorable stories imagined, but how do you ensure that your writing is sound in science? Bangor High School English teacher, Anthony Crabtree, recently took a multidisciplinary approach.

“For the first year of my science fiction literature class, I knew that a majority of my students who were signing up for this class were also STEM students who were more interested in the science aspect of things than the fiction aspect. Now, I’m not a science teacher, but I saw a lot of opportunities for interdisciplinary work to be done with these students” says Crabtree.

Along with books like The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Project Hail Mary, and Dune, he works to weave in non-fiction, science based texts like Astrophysics for People in a Hurry and Packing for Mars. Beyond the texts, he wants students to be able to have different experiences and see science fiction and science beyond the classroom and the books that they were reading.

“The opportunity to have a Zoom session with bluShift Aerospace CEO Sascha Deri came up in late November, when I stumbled upon their site and inquired about possibly talking to someone from their company about aerospace and astrophysics. We were heading into reading Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir, which is at times heavy on the science, and I wanted someone who knew more about the science of space than I did to talk to the students. Deri and his team at bluShift Aerospace are responsible for “the world’s first commercial rocket powered by carbon neutral biofuel,” which is something that I knew my students would be interested in. And, on top of that, they’re based right here in Maine, so the connection was even more pertinent to my students who sometimes see endeavors such as this happening a distance away, not right in their backyard’ explained Crabtree.

Along with Mr. Crabtree's science fiction classes, Mr. Cangelosi’s astronomy and STEM classes were invited to participate, making this a true interdisciplinary in-school field trip.