METC Podcast - Show Notes

Episode #8 - Novel Engineering

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Episode #8 - Novel Engineering
by Jonathon Lee - Thursday, 18 May 2017, 8:28 PM

Episode #8 - Novel Engineering

Show Notes




In this episode, I talk with Tina Lauer about a great topic, Novel Engineering.  Novel Engineering combines design thinking to your curriculum in a process that engages your students in many different key skills.  Find more information about Novel Engineering below.  Reach out and connect with Tina if you are interested in learning more and/or have questions as you begin thinking of using Novel Engineering within your classroom.


Topic Introduction:

Novel Engineering was developed by Tufts University Center for Engineering Education and Outreach and combines reading and engineering in a way that increases students’ literacy in a variety of subject areas.  As part of Novel Engineering, students create projects based on problems they have identified in novels or other content area reading selections.  The characters in the novel (or real-life people in non-fiction selections) become the “clients” and students must design prototypes that will help solve the problem(s) they have identified.

Episode’s Guest:  Tina Lauer  

  • Instructional Technology Specialist - City of St. Charles School District & Adjunct Professor at Lindenwood University

  • Contact via e-mail:

  • Twitter: @tnalau


Possible Novel Engineering Books:

  • A Snowy Day by Ezra Keats

  • Clementine by Sarah Pennypacker

  • The Three Little Javelinas by Susan Lowell

  • Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

  • The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary

  • Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing by Judy Blume

  • Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

  • A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

  • Trumpet of the Swans by E. B. White

  • City of Ember by Jeanne Du Prau

  • Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

  • The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell

  • The Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg


Taking your Engineering Beyond the Build:

  • Persuasive writing that persuades readers to purchase your product.

  • Step-by-step instructions to build or use your creation

  • Write an alternative version of the story where your product is used.

  • Budgeting - How much would it cost to build your prototype to scale and market your design to buyers?

  • Create a commercial for your product and publish to YouTube.

  • Design a print ad for your product using desktop publishing tools


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