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Twitter Chat 2013-12-11, 8 pm:Storytelling in STEM Education

bb_twitterchat“That’s impossible! It can’t be done.”

Trying to strum a few relaxing chords on his guitar late one evening, Kevin recounted over and over Jack’s words earlier that day at work. “There’s no way you’re going to get seven precision motors packed into such a small space!”

Kevin’s engineering log book was open on the floor slightly overlapping his favorite music book. He tried to focus on the song, but kept clutching his instrument with both arms, heavily distracted by the challenge of designing a computer-controlled flexible cutter for a new machine at work.

“Maybe he’s right.” Kevin thought. “Or is Jack just trying to protect his baby, his machine?” (excerpt from, The Ribbon Cutting, Engineering Stories, by Kenneth R. Hardman)

We are educated and motivated by Story, and a good story telling can change our perspective, give us new insights, shape our dreams and desires. Fiction or non-fiction, stories put us in the minds of the characters and let us hear what the protagonist is thinking, about issues or problems or antagonists. Scientists, Technologists, Engineers, and Mathematicians solve problems and often, over great odds, find great satisfaction in the process.

Let’s help the youth of today, and their teachers, experience these emotions by giving them good stories about STEM experiences. Let’s help them ‘see,’ through story, how they, with their skills, dreams, ambitions, and talents, can solve tough problems too, and have a great career.

Co-host: Ken Hardman

Engineering Stories, by

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Kenneth R. Hardman

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are Realistic Fiction, short story dramatizations allowing the reader, through narration, description, dialogue, and thought to experience the challenges and satisfaction of being an engineer, inventor, or scientist. Stories are very plausible, being a composition of author experience and the experiences of his peers. Herein, the reader is able to listen into the minds of engineers, see how they think, observe how they might behave, understand what makes them tick. The objective is to encourage students to consider or continue careers in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM), show what it may be like, dispel a myth or two, and encourage creativity, problem solving, and the confidence to make the world a better place.

About Big Beacon

The Big Beacon is a Movement to Transform Engineering Education. An Illinois not-for-profit corporation, Big Beacon was organized to catalyze a global social movement to transform engineering education. The Big Beacon connects dots among individuals and organizations to collaboratively disrupt the status quo, thereby bringing about change to align engineering education with the creativity imperative of our times. Read the Big Beacon Manifesto at

How to Twitter Chat

If you’ve never Twitter chatted before, don’t worry; it’s very easy. First, get a Twitter account if you don’t already have one, and log in. At 8 PM ET on Wednesday go to and type #BigBeacon into the search box on Twitter. Thereafter all the tweets with the hashtag #BigBeacon will show up on your Twitter page. To participate, simply express your opinion by sending a tweet, and be sure to append the hashtag #BigBeacon so other members of the Twitter Chat see you are posting. Alternatively, automate the hashtag search and append feature by using the free service Tchat at

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