For our project, we focused on the outreach event at Ravenswood Middle School. We believe that it is important to teach concepts of information theory as well as get kids of their age interested in STEM. In order to appeal to middle schoolers aged 11 to 13, we decided to author a fiction chapter book targeted at this age group.
To make our story unique and interesting to the kids, each of us developed a character that is similar to a younger version of ourselves. In the book, they meet a character that is an older version of ourselves at “Career Day” so that they can relate their current interests to attainable future career paths. For example, Liz’s character is a girl who is interested in flying and meets a real life pilot, Jonathan’s character is a boy who likes playing with circuits and wires and meets an electrical engineer, and Kevin’s character is a boy who is interested in medicine and the human body and meets a doctor.
Each chapter of the book incorporates, and ultimately teaches them about, a concept or theory in information theory. We also incorporated the pop culture references and coming of age struggles that the kids can relate to in order to keep it interesting. We developed the storyline such that it avoids repetition and its motivation remains clear, honest, and woven through the story.
For the outreach event, we planned to provide electronic copies of our book, engage with the kids about our interests, and provide fun activities related to our story that teach the information theory concepts presented in the book.
A copy of our book is provided here:
We hope you enjoy reading and learning about information theory as much as we had writing it!
All the Best,
Liz, Kevin, and Jonathan