Posted by brackitz, April 2015
A Book Review: “Dream, Invent, Create: Engineer the World”
Posted by brackitz on April 27, 2015
The children’s book “Dream, Invent, Create: Engineer the World,” published by Start Engineering can be used as a resource to introduce engineering, mathematics, and technology to students in elementary and middle schools. The book explains engineering in a simple yet accurate way by including illustrations of rockets, trains, roller coasters, submarines, and windmills. By reading the book, students learn that engineering encompasses much more than just one category. Engineering encompasses fields such as science, medicine, biology, art, and space.
“Dream, Invent, Create” has been utilized in a number of ways. Outreach programs have used the book as a way to teach children about the variety of engineering jobs, after-school programs have used the book to engage students’ interests in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), libraries have used the book when planning special readings, and teachers have used the book as a form of teacher training. Some institutions have even highlighted “Dream, Invent, Create”during literacy nights and family engineering events.
Elementary school classes can learn from having the teacher read the book aloud, and middle school classes can read the book themselves or with peers. All ages can benefit from reading the book. The easy rhyming scheme allows for attentive following and can be used as a form of language arts education. The illustrations are clever and relate to each rhyming stanza, providing not only a mentally stimulating experience, but a visual experience as well.
For example, “Help physicians treat their patients/ with new and better medications./ Build a laser more precise/ than the most skilled surgeon’s knife,”accompanies an illustration of a robotic laser knife and a medical scanner constructed by engineers.
Those with a disinterest in medicine may find the following stanza more enjoyable: “Program all your favorite toys./ Create fun games for girls and boys!/ Build the next amazing app/ to download with a finger tap.” An illustration of a dancing panda video game and a boy controlling a robot with a tablet offer students a visualization of engineering in practice.
The book’s greatest assets are the applications to real-world examples of engineering. Real-world examples allow children to see that engineering is everywhere. A scavenger hunt, word search, crossword puzzle, marshmallow challenge, and “Think About It” section follow the first 32 pages of engineering information. Engaging students at the end of the book and encouraging them to go back through each page with these activities is the perfect way to help them reinforce engineering knowledge without having it seem like homework.
The only distracting element of “Dream, Invent, Create” are the facts about engineering that wrap around the edges of each page, causing the reader to crank his or her head or tip the book at odd angles. The facts are informative but detract from the already beautiful design of the book. The Brackitz team recommends “Dream, Invent, Create”for after school programs, science classes, libraries, and homes. Books can be ordered from www.start-engineering.com or by calling 202-244-5575.