As many schools begin to realize the need to integrate more STEM/STEAM into the curriculum, those of us in elementary education who may feel a bit inadequate when it comes to lofty fields like engineering sometimes have a hard time incorporating it into our lessons. Novel Engineering is a project that aims to show how engineering and language arts don’t have to be in separate time slots on your daily schedule.
From what I can tell the Novel Engineering project is open only to a few schools at the moment. However, you can see what it’s all about in the video synapsis on the home page. Basically, certain books seem to pose engineering challenges which are just waiting for a skilled design thinker to solve. You can see several examples of novels that could be used here. For example, Tuck Everlasting offers two potential engineering problems – how to hide the water that gives eternal life, and how to help Mae Tuck escape jail before the town discovers that she is immortal.
Even though it would be nice to have access to additional program materials and examples, I think that teachers can certainly get many ideas from the novels and their corresponding engineering challenges that are shared on the site.