School Program Story by Maria Parenti-Baldey
Author and engineer Andrew King used this catch-cry to his young year 1 to 2 audience. King said engineers liked to draw and design. They were like big kids, just like the students. He encouraged students to think and imagine. To build planes, bridges, buildings, cars and playgrounds using cardboard boxes. To get outside, get dirty and see what the environment was like. Before publishing ‘Engibear Builds A Playground’, they drew bear characters and a playground at home. Then they talked and combined it altogether to write a fun story.
King said a child’s mind could travel ‘to infinity and beyond’ when using their imagination. When travel brochures promoted ‘escaping’ on holidays, by driving, riding in a train etc.,. so too could our imagination travel to the beach or fairytale castle without going there. He showed students a slide of his son’s writing and drawing. He said although his writing was early-stage, his son’s brain was already doing amazing things because he could ‘think’. Pointing to the students, he said, ’Your brains can also do amazing things by thinking.’
King's Engineer books encouraged students to delve into the world of engineers. ‘If you can draw it, then you can build it.’ Like a Minecraft city or the city of Munnagong in the Engibear series. Or the engineering feats in Englina’s Train where the Maglev Train, with its magnetic levitation would one day be able to travel from Ipswich to the Gold Coast in 8-12 minutes, instead of 1.5 hours. However, King said of dreaming, drawing, designing and creating, ’You’ve got to be willing to try. Never give up. Try, try again.’
Blogging Team 2017