Andrew King is passionate about the integral role of engineering in environmental management and sustainability. He attended the Climate Reality Training in Melbourne in 2014 and took away a strong sense of the need for community based action. We all live and work within different communities and if we each focus on the communities we are part of together we can effectively spread the Climate Reality message across our broader community. Two of Andrew’s community groups include engineers and writers. He has been delivering the Climate Reality message to these groups since his training and is also getting a little help from some characters he created – Engibear and his friends.
Children are very interested in the things that engineers do yet there are very few engineers in children’s literature and media. Consequently, Andrew created Engibear and his friends Engilina and the Bearbot as “friendly faces” of engineering - a way to introduce engineering to young children and he started writing short stories about them and their engineering adventures. Andrew considers himself to be very lucky because Benjamin Johnston, a Sydney-based Architect and illustrator who is also passionate about the environment, liked the Engibear concept and agreed to illustrate the stories. Andrew and Ben have now produced two Engibear books and a third is underway.
Andrew believes that environmental management and sustainability should be considered as “business as usual” in all aspects of our lives rather than as the add-ons or extras that we often consider them to be. He also thinks that it is important for children to grow up thinking this way from an early age. Therefore, rather than produce a book about environmental engineering, Andrew is working with Ben to produce a series of books that cover a broad range of engineering topics and include examples of good environmental and sustainability practices. Engibear lives and works in the fictitious city of Munnagong which has significant infrastructure and provides an ideal platform for doing this.
Examples in Engibear’s Dream include:
Andrew highlights the environmental aspects of the Engibear books during school visits and has had very positive feedback about the approach. He also brings environmental considerations into practical exercises undertaken with the students. For example – asking them to consider material usage when designing and constructing a paper bridge to withstand a given load.
Andrew and Ben are currently working on their third book which will explore the development of trains from early steam engine technology onwards and compare aspects of current and historical models - including environmental factors. They would be very happy to talk to anyone who is interested in their work.
Keep a look out for the new Engibear book late next year, and check out some extracts from the books below.
Find out more and order copies of Engibear books here.
This Week in Climate Change (formally The Week That Was), a weekly review of climate change politics, policy, innovation and science from Climate Reality Leader Andrew Woodward. @climatecomm