Engineer's Children's Book Wins National Recognition

'Engineering Elephants' is geared for children ages 4 to 8.

Pantoya reads

Pantoya reads "Engineering Elephants" to children in Texas Tech's Child Development Research Center.

A children's non-fiction book coauthored by a Texas Tech engineering professor is recognized as a "Best Books 2010" Award finalist by, the premiere online magazine and review website for mainstream and independent publishing houses.

"Engineering Elephants," coauthored by Michelle Pantoya, a professor of mechanical engineering at Texas Tech, and Emily Hunt, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at West Texas A&M University, seeks to educate very young children about who engineers are and what they do.

Learn more about Michelle Pantoya.

"Children know doctors and teachers and police and firemen and soldiers, but not engineers," Pantoya said. "This is a way of introducing young children to engineering. Our goal is to inspire some of these young people to think about an engineer as something they want to be when they grow up."

Between them, Pantoya and Hunt have seven children ages seven and under. The women discovered that there is a lack of children's books on engineering geared toward young children ages 4 to 8 and began work on the book about two years ago.

Jeffrey Keen, president and CEO of, said this year's contest yielded an unprecedented number of entries, which were then narrowed down to more than 500 winners and finalists in more than 140 categories covering print and audio books. Awards were presented for titles published in 2010 and late 2009.

A complete list of the winners and finalists of the National "Best Books 2010" Awards are available online.

The book is available online and at .

Watch Pantoya read Engineering Elephants to children at the Child Development Research Center.


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Whitacre 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 4,646 undergraduate and 1,040 graduate students pursue bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees offered through seven academic departments: civil, environmental and construction; chemical; computer science; electrical and computer; industrial, manufacturing and systems; mechanical; and petroleum.