Matt Weiss Author Page


Science based Fiction?

One of the reasons I became an author is to help convey fact based science in a way students can relate to. I think storytelling can be another tool in the toolbox to help students understand how science is a part of the every day world around them. I’m hopeful this information will help educators and students alike. Careful, some of this information may contain SPOILERS!

A Day in the Park

The idea for this book came when I did a search for scientific papers about my area (Chicago, Illinois, USA). The paper describes a chance encounter when a utility company discovers fossils and calls in the Illinois Geological Survey to identify them.

Here’s a link to download that paper (free): Illinois Geological Survey Circular 571

This Illinois State Museum website is another great resource for learning more about the pre-historic animals discussed in A Day in the Park.

There are many examples of real-life people making discoveries just like Ryan Hutton did in this book. Here’s a couple of examples:

Chicago Tribune article of fossil discovery in Michigan soybean field

Fossil graveyard research site in South Dakota


If you have questions about how to integrate any of my books into your classroom I’d love to hear from you! Send an email to