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Thinking Outside the Coop

A children's book written and illustrated by Betsy Von Hagen for the Rural Technology Fund

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The chicken coop is egg-speriencing some problems. Eggs go missing, eggs are getting dirty, and eggs are being stolen. Widget and Zip, the dog and duck duo, get to work problem-solving. See how they design electronic circuits, 3D print tools, and even build their own robot to prove that there’s more than one way to overcome an obstacle.

Every day, we work with rural school teachers and librarians to provide tools that help introduce more kids to the potential of tech-centric careers. Part of the mission includes helping students understand how people can use computers and other tech to solve real-world problems in an accessible way. “Thinking Outside the Coop,” written and illustrated by Betsy Von Hagen, is just the story to do that.

This book, targeted at elementary school-aged children, is available to purchase on Amazon, with a portion of the proceeds going directly to the Rural Technology Fund. This funding allows us to provide technology education resources to more students in rural areas. We’ll also be donating copies of this book to schools nationwide, accompanying our existing support to rural classrooms.

Headshot of author and illustrator Betsy Von Hagen.

Meet our Author

Betsy Von Hagen was born in Washington, DC and grew up in Alexandria, Virginia.  She has worked as a Kindergarten teacher, PreK teacher, Reading teacher, Curriculum Writer, and Content Expert.  She is currently a PreK teacher.  Betsy lives in Crofton, Maryland with her family: her husband Richard, 2 college-aged sons (Nate and Sam), a teenage daughter (Bridget), a dog (Marble) and various other pets. Betsy has dreamed of publishing her first book since she was 17 years old.  33 years later, this dream has come true.  RTF, the Rural Technology Fund partnered with her in creating her new book: Thinking Outside the Coop.  Betsy has many more books she would love to share.  Be on the lookout for much more to come!

Resource Library

Check out these extension activities and supplementary ideas to support the inclusion of “Thinking Outside the Coop” in your classroom! Toggle through the different age ranges to see the various suggestions. 

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