Engineering Crossword Puzzles for Students is a collection of 25 puzzles designed to nurture young minds, while also being fun. This downloadable, print-ready, crossword puzzle e-book is primarily targeted to young people from ages 14 through 21, along with what the author describes as “smart” 12- and 13-year-olds.
One of the most admired professional puzzle constructors currently working; Myles Mellor developed the puzzles especially for IEEE-USA E-BOOKS. Crossword puzzles are an ideal tool for building systematic reasoning, critical thinking, and working memory skills among students.
Engineering Crossword Puzzles for Students adds to the enjoyment, as well as the mental challenge, by using technological topics that young people are already coming across in their coursework. As with the previous crossword puzzles book for adult engineers he created for IEEE-USA E-BOOKS, Mellor first went online to research authoritative, engineering-related topics. He says that one of his best resources was IEEE Spectrum. From telecommunications and cybernetics to aerospace and basic electrical engineering concepts, he gathered thousands of words, their meanings, and various associated facts and terms.
“The first step I take when creating puzzles for younger audiences is to try to get into their shoes,” he explains. “It can be tough, since younger people may have quite different vocabulary levels and comprehension of engineering terms. At the same time, I have to ensure that the puzzles are solvable — while also making them challenging.”
To accomplish this delicate balance, Mellor includes some easy words and clues, so students can get started on the puzzle. He says he also tries to ensure that easier clues for words will intersect with ones that are more difficult; this way, puzzle solvers can make some progress in finding letters that will help to solve the harder clues.
Sometimes, Mellor features clues that involve wordplay, meaning the puzzle solver can take the clue as a figure of speech; or in some sense other than the literal meaning. This requires the solver to use some form of lateral thinking — solving problems through reasoning not immediately obvious.
“When the word is ultimately found,” says Mellor, “the surprise often generates both laughter and a new insight. For a student, learning how to use a different thought pattern — one that wasn’t obvious at first — it can prove especially meaningful.”
Choosing the theme for each of the 25 puzzles in Engineering Crossword Puzzles for Students is an important step for him. “The theme is the unifying motif among many of the words in that puzzle, and they are usually the longest answers,” he explains.
For adult solvers, Mellor may choose a complex theme not quickly recognized; but for younger people, he opts for a more easily identifiable theme. Each of the crosswords in the student e-book has a technological theme; plus a title, such as “Gravity,” or “Databases,” indicating what it’s about. However, given the constraints within which puzzle constructors must work, some words may be shared with other technologies.
Educators often use crosswords to encourage student interest in vocabulary and spelling — two critical skills young people should develop — especially in this era of texting, which can hinder a young person from developing comprehensive language skills. In addition, solving crosswords offers an always-welcome sense of accomplishment.
From February 1 through March 15, IEEE Members may download a free, printable copy of Engineering Crossword Puzzles for Students. Simply go to the IEEE-USA Shop, sign in to your IEEE account, add the book to your cart, and enter promo code FEBFREE20 at checkout.
Members — don’t miss this great, free gift from IEEE-USA. Engineering Crossword Puzzles for Students is regularly $2.99 for members (Non-members pay $4.99).
Go ahead — download your free book — and let your child “get their puzzle on…”
Georgia C. Stelluto is IEEE-USA’s Publishing Manager; Manager/Editor of IEEE-USA E-BOOKS; InFocus Department Editor for IEEE-USA InSight; and Co-Editor of the IEEE-USA Conference Brief.