Support Liberal Studies

Alumna’s Picture Book Takes Students from Atoms to Asteroids

By Paige Gowan

I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies with a concentration in child development in spring 2019. I was inspired to create my children's book, “The Adventures of the Tall and Small,” after hearing Mercedes Talley speak in Professor Bergen’s class. 

Talley founded a non-profit called Learn Through the Universe, which helps students learn about the universe through collaborative construction of true-to-scale models at powers of ten. Through these activities, students journey out into the cosmos and down to the subatomic level.

The exploration of scale in her discussion and the following activities were so interesting that I thought a book would be a great way to introduce children to their place in the world. Professor Bergen’s “innovation project” was a perfect excuse to create the book, and I made it with some markers, a scanner and some rhyming inspiration from Professor Swanagon. 

The book is now touring along with Mercedes Talley and her Learn Through the Universe team! I am now in pursuit of a master's degree in speech pathology from Sacramento State University and hope to work as a speech therapist in elementary schools.

Related Content