The History and Rhetoric of Science Writing for Children

English 1102, The History and Rhetoric of Science Writing for Children
Spring 2018
Professor: Rebekah Fitzsimmons

Project Description:

Carson’s Robot Arm

This exhibit presents picture books created by students in Dr. Rebekah Fitzsimmons’s English 1102 “History and Rhetoric of Science Writing for Children” first year writing class. The course touched on the historical transformations of “scientific” ideas and rhetoric about race, gender, evolution, astronomy, mechanics, physical and mental health, professionalization, and science education from the Victorian age into the 21st century. Each picture book was designed to communicate a STEM concept from the student’s course of study to a young audience, specifically, the K-2 students at the local Hollis Innovation Academy. Students explored the connection between image and text by analyzing award-winning science picture books, experimenting with different illustration styles, and working to translate complicated technical jargon into easy to understand narratives. In order to design and create the picture books, students met with local picture book artist Mike Lowery. Students took part in hands on workshops at the Robert C Williams Museum of Papermaking to create paste paper, pop up elements, and drum leaf book bindings. Students participated in workshops with Librarian Alison Valk in order to create digital illustrations and reflective videos that explained the composition process and their creative journey. The project culminated with a reading of draft picture books to the Hollis students during a field trip to the Paper Museum.

Sample Picture Book Videos


See all the videos


Software options : 

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Omeka
  • Imovie