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Educator seeks to teach biology through novel
Says 'Mythology can be a reality one day'
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North Hall High biology teacher Brett Farkas has written a novel that he says is a fun way to learn biology.

Book signing

Brett Farkas, a North Hall High School science teacher, will hold a book signing for his new book “Biopolis” Saturday from 4:30-5 p.m. at Wilshire Park in Gainesville.

In a new novel, a North Hall High School science teacher goes “thousands of years into the future” to tell a story that includes giants, gnomes, clones and unicorns, but also teaches many of the lessons of a high school biology course.

“The book is as educational as it is compelling,” said Brett Farkas, author of “Biopolis,” which is published by Amazon. “It touches on every (high school biology) unit from DNA structure to the electron transport chain with scientific diagrams throughout the novel. I wrote it as a fun way to learn biology. There are a lot of good science books out there, but not any that touch on every unit in high school biology.”

In the book, Farkas tells the story of a teenager named Martin, who is lagging behind in school with classmates who are “hyper-intelligent, genetically modified people who can memorize a math book in one day.”

“Biopolis takes places in bioengineered city with families living in genetically engineered treehouses, so it’s a big biotechnological world they’re living in,” he said. “There are entire sports teams made of clones and entire families of clones. It takes place in the future when all of technology is biotechnology. There are gnomes and giants and unicorns, but they’re all based on real science.”

Martin comes together in the book with “a group of misfits,” according to Farkas.

“They go on a journey together through this fantastical world and they encounter all sorts of incredible creatures as they try to find where they came from,” he said. “They have to escape from asylum; they have break into a hospital to get their records. They basically want to find out how they were born. The main character finds out that he’s a clone actually from thousands of years ago.”

As a teacher, Farkas said he also seeks to make science fun for students.

“We do a lot of hands-on labs in my classroom,” he said. “I think the best way to learn about science is to actually do it.”

Although the fictional story is set well into the future, Farkas said he believes some of the foundations of science could make some of the fantasies in his story a reality one day.

“We have the tools to make unicorns, but we don’t yet to know which genes to use,” he said. “So, it’s going to be the next generation that learns a lot more about all the intricacies of DNA. Mythology can be a reality one day.”

At 35, Farkas has written four other works and has some others at various stages including what he called “my great American novel,” set during the Industrial Revolution that he said will take about four years to complete.

Those interested can purchase a copy of “Biopolis” at www.amazon.com. The book will also be available at a book signing Saturday from 4:30-5 p.m. at Wilshire Trails Park in Gainesville.

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