Artemis by Andy Weir

Book Info

Grade Level
High School
STEM Concepts
Space Travel, Engineering, Math, Astrophysics, Chemistry, Space Flight

Jasmine Bashara never signed up to be a hero. She just wanted to get rich. Not crazy, eccentric-billionaire rich, like many of the visitors to her hometown of Artemis, humanity’s first and only lunar colony. Just rich enough to move out of her coffin-sized apartment and eat something better than flavored algae. Rich enough to pay off a debt she’s owed for a long time. So when a chance at a huge score finally comes her way, Jazz can’t say no. Sure, it requires her to graduate from small-time smuggler to full-on criminal mastermind. And it calls for a particular combination of cunning, technical skills, and large explosions—not to mention sheer brazen swagger. But Jazz has never run into a challenge her intellect can’t handle, and she figures she’s got the ‘swagger’ part down.  The trouble is, engineering the perfect crime is just the start of Jazz’s problems. Because her little heist is about to land her in the middle of a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself. Trapped between competing forces, pursued by a killer and the law alike, even Jazz has to admit she’s in way over her head. She’ll have to hatch a truly spectacular scheme to have a chance at staying alive and saving her city. Jazz is no hero, but she is a very good criminal. That’ll have to do.

Note that this novel contains adult language and themes.

Source: Penguin Random House


Author Andy Weir appeared on episode 11 of The STEM Read Podcast: Science Fiction to Fuel Science Fact listen today on iTunes,, and NPR Online!


Idea Sparks and Mini Lessons

These questions, prompts, and short activities provide quick ways to inspire interest and explore the STEAM concepts related to the book. Idea Sparks and Mini lessons can also be used for differentiation and to foster new ideas of your own.

Download the lesson plan

Alternative Food Sources

In Artemis, most people in the colony ate algae as their main food source. While this may seem gross and far-fetched to some students, edible algae is already a booming industry and seen as a viable and plentiful food source. In this two part lesson, students will research and grow edible algae. They will also examine other alternative food sources and create recipes for one or more of them.

Download the lesson plan

Colony Expansion

In the book Artemis, the lunar colony consists of five main spheres called “bubbles” connected by tunnels. There is also a visitor center, two reactors, and an aluminum smelter plant. With the new ZAFO boom, the need for housing, food, utilities, and entertainment will increase, the colony will need to expand. In this lesson, students will create a new “bubble” to help alleviate the overflow of new citizens.

Download the lesson plan

Water Down the Drain

In the Artemis base, water conservation would be a key to survival. Residents would need to learn to use the minimum amount of water for each task. Jazz explains that one way this is accomplished is that the showers are part of a gray water system. In this PBL, students research water usage and management, then develop a system or device that can contribute to water conservation.

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About the Author

Andy Weir was first hired as a programmer for a national laboratory at age fifteen and has been working as a software engineer ever since. He is also a lifelong space nerd and a devoted hobbyist of subjects like relativistic physics, orbital mechanics, and the history of manned spaceflight. Other titles by Andy include The Martian and The Egg.

Learn more at

Source: Andy Weir.