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Professor Writes Engineering Children's Book

"Designing Dandelions" chronicles stranded space aliens using engineering principles to find a way home.

Written by Grace Acuña

Designing Dandelions

A Texas Tech University professor has written another child’s book teaching basic problem-solving skills by using engineering concepts and vocabulary.

Michelle Pantoya, an engineering professor at Texas Tech, and her co-author Emily Hunt, now an engineering professor at West Texas A&M University and Texas Tech alumna, worked with early childhood literacy experts and science museums to develop their most recent title, “Designing Dandelions: An Engineering Everything Adventure.”

The book tells the story of two young space aliens from the planet Exergy, who have crash-landed on Earth and must apply the engineering design process to get themselves back home. The book aims to teach children the relationship between science and engineering and introduce them to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts.

“I’m very excited to bring engineering to young children and start to inspire the future generations that will impact our world,” Pantoya said.

“Designing Dandelions” is the third book published by the author pair and their first to be published by Texas Tech University Press (TTUP). Their previous titles, “Engineering Elephants” and “Pride by Design,” also have engineering themes.

For more information about TTUP and “Designing Dandelions” visit the website at


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Michelle Pantoya

Michelle Pantoya is an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering in the Whitacre College of Engineering.

View her profile in our online Experts Guide.

Whitacre College of Engineering
The Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering

The Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering has educated engineers to meet the technological needs of Texas, the nation and the world since 1925.

Approximately 4,300 undergraduate and 725 graduate students pursue bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees offered through eight academic departments: civil and environmental, chemical, computer science, electrical and computer, engineering technology, industrial, mechanical and petroleum.