Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton

Infant engineer book programme

An annual book-giving project pioneered at the University of Southampton that prompts primary school children to engage with creative problem solving.

In celebration of National Women in Engineering Day on 23rd June, the University of Southampton is donating copies of a specially selected story book and related learning resources to hundreds of primary school classes. Each book includes a personal message signed by an inspirational female engineer from the UK. The project is designed to share our love of creative problem solving with young children, and to empower them to develop their natural interests, irrespective of gender.

In 2016 we have selected the book ‘Rosie Revere, Engineer’, written by Andrea Beaty and illustrated by David Roberts. Rosie is a young inventor who sees inspiration in the most unlikely objects. Despite discouragement, and an unfortunate outcome of her first test flight, Rosie’s imagination and perseverance are captivating and inspirational.

Book cover
Southampton University 2016 National Women in Engineering Day book

Information for schools working with ‘Rosie Revere, Engineer’

Rosie Revere, Engineer is a great high interest, low reading level text to engage young readers from reception through to year 6. Classes may use the book in a variety of ways, from simply enjoying the story together in celebration of National Women in Engineering Day, through to devoting a whole week to Rosie-themed activities across the curriculum. A teacher guide with suggestions for language, science, mathematics, and art-based learning activities is available for download.

 As a practical design activity, build your own Rosie-Copters using the template provided below, and then experiment to see if you can improve on Rosie’s work. The simple Paper Helicopter Experiment is a classic exercise in experimental design that we even use to train our undergraduate mathematicians. 

We would love to hear how you have used Rosie Revere in your class and to be able to share the best ideas. Please simply drop us an email using the address below.

Can you participate?

Planning is underway for the future editions of our Infant Engineer Book Programme. If you are able to contribute in any of the following ways, please contact us at the email address below:

 Contact: Ed Richardson via


Privacy Settings