You may have never heard either of those two engineers, but I bet you are familiar with the work of at least one of them. John Augustus Roebling was the mastermind behind the design of the Brooklyn Bridge. Arriving at age 25 from Germany, John began drafting the bridge design and proposal in 1867 as a way to connect Manhattan to Brooklyn. His son, Washington, took the lead after John tragically died right after construction started. The bridge opened with enormous fanfare in 1883.
As told by Lynn Curlee in Brooklyn Bridge (2001), the engineering challenges posed during this nearly 25 year project were unprecedented. Full page paintings depict the inner workings of the structural design, such as the caissons used for allowing the workers to dig under the river (initially by hand, mostly by Irish immigrants). This is definitely an upper elementary book with some technical information interspersed during the human drama of the construction, but it is very readable and engaging. At only 35 pages long with full page illustrations, it's an informative narrative about a fascinating project.
End pages include a full spread labeled drawing of the Brooklyn Bridge, and during/after depictions of the suspension component of the bridge. A page is devoted to the specification for those who love numbers, and a timeline is also included.
And now for the second engineer for this blog, Temple Grandin. Sy Montgomery's 2012 book about her life is nothing short of amazing. How had I never heard of this person??!! Pick up Temple Grandin: How the Girl who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World. I guarantee you will be inspired!
As the title indicates, Temple was diagnosed with autism as an young girl. The first chapter of 13 provides background on Temple's early years during which she struggled with sensory overload. As the title "Senses on fire" suggests, sounds and sights that would not be noticed by most kids were overwhelming to her. After struggling for years in school, her mother sought a high school that allowed her to flourish, and she went on to pursue a master's degree and eventually a Ph.D. in animal science. She looked at problems differently from others -- from the perspective of the livestock -- and revolutionized the designs of cattle chutes, dip vats, and slaughterhouses. This, from a girl whom many considered unable to be educated!
Photos and design schematics complement the text, and the schematics show the marvels of engineering. An appendix entitled "Temple's advice for kids on the spectrum" contains her seven suggestions for kids with autism. Suggested books, articles and websites are also included. So whether you are seeking an upper intermediate or middle school book to depict engineering applications, promote understanding and tolerance, or provide a glimpse into the life of someone with autism, the story of Temple will not disappoint you.
My name is Rebecca Cherry and I am in Dr. Readren's science ed course. I am a SPED major, so I was naturally drawn to this book about Temple Grandin. I have read this book before I read this blog, but that is because Grandin is one of my personal heroes. Anything you read or watch about her can be life-changing and eye-opening. I love the thought of using her story to teach tolerance and diversity (while still relating it to science!) I think for students that I may teach in the future, her story can help them realize that they can still accomplish great things and that a disability is really just a set of DIFFERENT abilities. They can go on to be scientists or writers. Stories about Temple Grandin show students that science is applicable to everyone, no matter who they are.ReplyDelete
My name is Laura Cantrell and I am also in Dr. Rearden's Science Education course this summer. I am super stoked that this blog came up this week for two reasons: I have read the first book and LOVED it. Second, I have studied Temple Grandin a little in some Psychology classes and seen the movie about her with Claire Danes. First, Brookly Bridge is a fantastic book because it describes just how intricate the details of this bridge are. It really makes you think about all the details and collaboration that had to go into creating the bridge. I like the book because it also details Roebling's life, which is cool for students to see that he was just a normal guy who had a vision. Second, Temple Grandin. Where to start?! This woman is amazing. I love her story, because it shows that even people who are discredited for other reasons are smart and can contribute to the world around them. I think that it would be cool to teach students tolerance with this book. They could be taught a lot about the value of a human, no matter their differences to contribute.ReplyDelete
My name is Kayla Wyatt and I am in Dr. Rearden's online science education class as well. I am a special education major and I was very excited to see that this week's blog discussed a book about Temple Grandin. I have had discussions about her in other classes, read other materials about her, and listened to her speak at the Knoxville Convention Center. I think she is an inspiration to children and adults with autism spectrum disorder and with other disabilities. She helps people see that ANYONE can do anything they want to do if they believe in themselves and set their minds to it. I think this book would be great for my future students if I were to teach upper level grades. It could promote motivation for my students when they are thinking about what they want to do in the future, and dismisses beliefs that only certain type of people can "do" science. I am definitely going to be adding this book to my future classroom library.ReplyDelete
I am also in Dr. Rearden's science ed class and I am excited to see engineering as the topic this week! I work in a kindergarten class and many of the centers we use are based on engineering principles to promote divergent thinking. My classroom is inclusive and it is sometimes difficult for my young students to understand that students with disabilities are just like them, they just learn in different ways. I think the story of Temple Grandin would be a great way to explain this. The students would love learning about her and her work with animals while also getting a better perspective of how people use their unique skills to better the world.ReplyDelete
I believe that is it essential to learn about important people behind famous landmarks. Engineering needs to be incorporated into the learning of young students, and illustrations are able to easily do just that. Students also need to learn about the dangers of engineering to build beautiful landmarks. I have never heard of second engineer either, even though I am in Special Education. I believe that it is important for students to understand that just because you are different or have a disability, does not mean that you can not do powerful things, as Temple Grandin did with animals and engineering. Illustrations from the book will help draw attention of young students to want to learn about the accomplishments made by this woman who is "different" from others.ReplyDelete
My name is Brittany Williamson, and I'm in Dr. Rearden's online science course. I very much appreciated how Temple Grandin's book was on the blog this week. As a special education major, she is one of the people I want my students to look up to. She is very aware of her disability, but she knows her strengths and weaknesses to overcome that disability! Students who have disabilities can be scientists along with their peers who do not have disabilities, just as Temple Grandin did! This is a cross-curricular book that would be a great asset in all classrooms as an introduction to the field of science.ReplyDelete
My name is Mary Kate Hallock and like the many comments above mine, I am also in Dr. Rearden's science course. I really enjoyed this post about the two engineering books! These books connect to our module this week on reading about the history of scientists and allowing students to discover what scientists do and why they do it. Through reading books like this, students challenge their previous perspectives on who they think scientists are and how they see them. The two books you have provided in your blog could be used for this same purpose, to allows students to see what inventors, engineers, and scientists do. In addition, the first book also relates to this week's module on using science histories to help students see that science takes a long time. Through reading about the building of the Brooklyn Bridge, students will see that engineering projects also take a long time and require a collaboration of people to successfully build it. The inventor didn't build the entire bridge by hand himself. The second book you have provided is a great book to demonstrate to students that scientists are creative. Temple Grandin didn't make daily observations of cattle from afar or use a standardized method to make observations. Temple sought to make her observations from a creative perspective, that of the livestock and by doing this she was able to see things that no one had noticed before. How great is that! Lastly, these books relate to our module last week that discussed the Next Generation Science Standards in that it provides a way for engineering to play as large of a role in the science classroom as science does. Engineers do types of experiments and they invent things just like scientists do experiments and come up with better ways to do things. This was a great post and these are definitely books I would like to have in my classroom!ReplyDelete
My name is Samantha Shinkle and I am in Dr. Rearden's online science education class as well. I am a special education major and I was very excited to see this post discussed a book about Temple Grandin. I have had discussions about her in other classes and read other materials about her. I think she is an inspiration to people with autism spectrum disorder and with other disabilities. She helps people see that they can do anything they want to do if they believe in themselves.This book could be great for my future students! It could help promote motivation for my students when they are thinking about what they want to do in the future. It can also show them that anyone can "do" science.ReplyDelete
I am Jade and I'm in Dr. Rearden's online science course this summer. I hope my comment loads this time because this is the third time I'm writing it! None of my others saved.ReplyDelete
I admire so much this post especially as I am a special education major and will start my first year teaching special education at an inner city high school in Nashville. I wish more people were aware of stories like Temples, because as the post states many people stereotype people with disabilities as unable to be educated and less intelligent than most people (hence the new controversy in the hop-hop world regarding Drake and his new hit single with lyrics that refer to people with autism in a derogatory way). This, obviously, is not the case at all! I will definitely order this book and provide information on Temple Grandin and others like her for my classroom. Hopefully her story will inspire not only my students, but the peer tutors who volunteer and help out in our classroom.