Pushing the Limits: Transformation

Through this program you and your community will consider how we humans are driven to transform the world around us, and how we often transform ourselves in the process.


Scenes from “Pushing the Limits: Transformation”
Science in Everyday Life
Heather Doyle grew up in rural Wisconsin, in a home that was in a constant state of transformation. Her dad was an amateur carpenter, but possessed the conviction and work ethic to build his family’s house. At a young age, Heather’s dad enlisted her help: she learned to use tools and came to appreciate the value of working with her hands. She was empowered to build more.

Her rural upbringing reinforced Heather’s belief in the value of the trades — those hands-on jobs that a lot of people call “blue collar”. After mastering her high school’s metal work classes, Heather moved to the nearest city to build a blacksmithing program at a technical college.

Then, the economy crashed and her college canceled all non-degree programs, so Heather found herself looking for employment. Just as her dad taught her, she wanted to empower people’s self-sufficiency, and instill in others the idea that a home is built with labor and love. She turned her attention to an area in her neighborhood to create a space for kids and families to learn to work with their hands.

Watch Heather’s story here, or select the video icon at the bottom of the page to download it to your computer. Note that the button on the bottom right of the video will make the video go to “full screen” mode. In full screen mode you will have the control at the bottom of the screen to advance and rewind. After viewing, you can select the esc key to escape full screen.

Heather Doyle
Science in Everyday Life



To support your implementation of Pushing the Limits: Transformation, you can download this document, which contains:

  • A list of additional suggested booksarrowsdownload icondownload MS Word icon
  • A set of discussion questions that can be customized to your community’s interests

Marketing your Program
We recommend starting your planning and marketing at least 2-3 months before your program date. Please note that instructions for appropriate credit are included in the Marketing and Communications Plan Template. At minimum, the following program credit line must appear in all published materials relating to Pushing the Limits:

Pushing the Limits is a reading, viewing, and discussion program for adults in communities served by rural libraries, made possible by a grant from the National Science Foundation.”

Program Resources

Download Heather’s story here. This video is approximately twelve minutes long and may take several minutes to download. We recommend that you download all the files for your public program, rather than stream them from this website.

Download a one-minute video that you can use to promote the program through your own website.

Download a list of short readings related to this topic. You and your science partner may want to use these as additional examples in your program, or they may lead to ideas for customizing the programs for your own community.

* Videos are to be viewed only as part of the Pushing the Limits program,
and copies may be distributed outside of the library only if accompanied by a copy of
this document.

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