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Sep
27

Lighting a Path Forward

About 2 years ago, I accidentally wrote a children’s book. (Accidentally is a strange word: rather, I never intended to write a children’s book, but when an idea sticks with me, the only way to get it out of my head is to do it.)

My significant other is part of a company that makes circuit stickers. Sometimes after dinner, I would beta test his products. I would do this in my spare time, one hand fumbling with a sticky circuit, the other hand clicking for cat clips on the computer. Once the work was done, I’d tuck away the circuit stickers along with the knowledge of how to build these circuits.


And then one night I dreamt of a dark world, and a poem about bringing light to a world full of darkness. The poem stuck in my head. I wrote it down, and from there an idea grew…

And now, 2 years later, *drumroll* I present my STEAM electronics kit: “When Thea LED the Way”.

This is an interactive craftbook that comes with electrical components. The heroine’s name is Thea Prom, a take on Prometheus, the Greek Titan who brought fire to mankind. Likewise, the reader helps Thea bring light to her darkened world.

In the craftbook “When Thea LED the Way”, the reader enters Thea’s world and becomes part of her journey. The reader must help Thea bring light to her world by building circuits. As Thea grows and gains confidence in her knowledge of circuits, the reader does as well.

Of course, the kit comes with everything you need to help Thea with her journey (circuit stickers, copper tape, etc). It’s like the movie “The NeverEnding Story”, where a boy reading a fantasy book has to actively participate in in order to save the fantasy world.

I’m thrilled to see the book in print and the kit being manufactured. In the process of getting to this point, I had to oversee the design many different parts, from the electronic components, to the package design, to the book itself.

When I wrote the SIFT algorithm, my short-sighted goal was to get a publication so I could receive my PhD. Thankfully, my PhD advisors convinced me to make a website so that the research and medical community could actually use SIFT. At the time, I didn’t see the importance of deploying the algorithm. Only later when I saw the utility the SIFT website had in other people’s research, did I realize the impact of deploying an idea.

So while I am excited that a factory is ready to manufacture this kit, I realize that without a website to get the word out, the project would have little impact. Thus, I’m doing a crowdfunding campaign for this project. If you can help me spark confidence in children who might normally not consider engineering, then this craftbook would have achieved the impact I’m hoping for.

 

 

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