Publish a book - middle years
One of the projects is to work as part of a team to publish a book. Your book will include interesting features such as pop-ups, sliding and rotating parts. You may like to choose an aspect of engineering as the topic for your book.
To begin, here is some interesting information about the history of printing, paper and books.
The invention of the printing press, in the 15th century, with letters that could be changed and set, is often acclaimed as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, invention of the modern world. (Its invention is credited to the German goldsmith Johannes Gutenberg, and the technology was introduced to Britain soon after by William Caxton.) It had an enormous impact on the communication of knowledge and its accessibility to the general population. Before that time there were no means of mass producing volumes of written texts (books), and existing manuscripts were painstakingly hand copied word for word, often by monks and priests, who were the more literate members of society. Indeed many of the writings were of a religious nature. While a single manuscript might have taken a year or so to copy by hand, a printing press could produce hundreds of copies in the same time.
Newspapers and novels as we now know them did not exist, but eventually became available as the technology improved and printing speeds increased.
So, what are the origins of the writing systems that eventually led to books? The story is so long that it is only possible to give a very brief summary of it here.
The very early records are of 'pictographic' writings (using symbols for objects such as grain, fish or oxen) pressed into clay tablets by the Sumerians in around 3500 BC. This method was adopted by the ancient Egyptians from around 3000 BC, with their pictogram writings in stone, now known as 'hieroglyphics'. Over time, the use of pigments (plant dyes and charcoal) on flat sheets (hides and papyrus) evolved. Early paper (papyrus) was used by the ancient Greeks and Egyptians, and also by Asian cultures such as the Chinese. Eventually, paper became the standard material for writing and printing. The Dead Sea Scrolls date from around 150 BC.
The world's first great library of books was established in Alexandria (Egypt) in around 300 BC. It is said to have contained some 70,000 manuscripts and scrolls (even though printing had not yet been invented). It was severely damaged in 47 AD, and mysteriously destroyed about 391 AD.
If you would like to publish a book as an EngQuest project, why not ask your teacher?