Texas Tech University

Texas Tech Professor Publishes Fourth Children's Book

Emily Gardner

April 13, 2015

The book presents engineering principles merged with the beauty of space.

Sacco & Pantoya
Al Sacco and Michelle Pantoya

A Texas Tech University professor recently published her fourth children's book.

Michelle Pantoya, the J.W. Wright Regents chair and professor in mechanical engineering at the Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering, co-wrote “Engineering in Space: Adventures of an Astronaut Engineer” with Emily Hunt, a Texas Tech alumna and associate professor of mechanical engineering at West Texas A&M University and with close collaboration from Al Sacco Jr., dean of the Whitacre College of Engineering.

“These children's books go beyond our region, they literally go around the world,” Pantoya said. “Who knows who might see this book, read it, become inspired and someday go on to change the world.”

“Engineering in Space” discusses engineering principles and a first-hand account of the beauty of space as recounted by Sacco, who was an astronaut.

“His life in space, all the intimate details, is captured in this book so children can imagine themselves orbiting earth and what life is like in space,” Pantoya said.

Engineering in Space

The book further supports her mission to educate children on what engineering is and what engineers do.

Pantoya and Hunt's previous children's books include “Designing Dandelions,” published with Texas Tech University Press, “Pride by Design” and “Engineering Elephants.”

“With a little inspiration and education, the next generation entering college as an engineering major will have a solid understanding for what engineers do,” Pantoya said. “They will understand engineers design technology and have a very deep understanding that technologies are anything designed to solve a problem. That technology is not just something that's electronic, but extends to everything made by humans that surround us.

If we can clear up these misconceptions at young ages, our hope is young kids will become inspired by the meaningfulness of engineering and choose to study that as a discipline and change our world, to me, that is the biggest reward.