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Have You Herd? June 2010 Salute


Dr. Emily Hunt

They know what firemen, doctors, teachers and nurses do, but children usually don’t have a clue what engineers do, and Dr. Emily Hunt is determined to change that.dr. emily hunt

Hunt, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, partnered with Dr. Michelle Pantoya, associate professor of mechanical engineering at Texas Tech University, to write an interactive children’s book about the field of engineering. The book, Engineering Elephants, was published in March by AuthorHouse, and is already a big hit with children and school districts alike.

“We have seven children between the two of us, and we realized it was hard to explain to them about our jobs,” Hunt said. “We decided to put a book together that would interest children and educate them about engineering.”

The book, illustrated by Holly Steward of Canyon, uses rhyme to tell how engineers design everything from roller coasters and race cars to fireworks and surf boards. Hunt hopes it will inspire young children to think about being an engineer when they grow up.
“To advance our field, we have to engage children at a young age, and I think this book can do that,” she said.

Since its publication, Hunt and her co-author have been busy on the reading circuit sharing Reading Elephants with children of all ages. The book has even been built into the summer school curriculums at the Slaton Independent School District and the Lubbock Cooper Independent School District. Plus, Engineering Elephants has been nominated for a Moonbeam Children’s Book Award and for a U.S.A. Book News Best Book Award. That’s quite an honor for the first-time authors.

Hunt and Pantoya are now busy working on ideas for a second children’s book. They’ve learned quite a bit about writing and publishing a book and look forward to sharing more information about the exciting world of engineering.

For more information about Engineering Elephants, visit engineeringelephants.org. Books are available at Weathered Elements in Canyon or at authorhouse.com, amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com.

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