This lesson plan uses Harlan Ellison’s “Repent, Harlequin! Said the Ticktockman” as part of an interdisciplinary first-year curriculum linking perspectives from the humanities with engineering design. Students participated in a “mock trial” based on two characters from the story as a way to reflect on good teamwork, the value of creativity, and on the nature of the engineering profession. Both Ellison’s story and the lesson explore the benefits of taking a “STEAM” perspective that integrates the precision and timeliness needed in engineering (represented by the Ticktockman) with the flexibility and creativity inspired by the humanities (represented by Harlequin).

Author/Artist Bio

Olivia Burgess is an Assistant Professor at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, where she teaches classes in STEM communication, literature, and science, technology, and society. She has been involved in several interdisciplinary collaborations that promote integrating writing and the humanities into undergraduate engineering education. She is currently part of an NSF grant on increasing creative thinking in undergraduate engineering students.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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