We are huge fans of projects, efforts and initiatives that seek to engage children, especially girls and minorities, in STEM subjects. Undoubtedly one of the most sought-after areas in the global workforce, the need to bolster the pipeline in order to keep up with the demands for people in undeniable.
The particular focus on girls is also very important, as statistics show such a huge gender disparity in the STEM workforce even today. It all starts with fostering a sense of curiosity and empowering youth to know how exciting the STEM world is, and that is exactly what the Discover Wonders STEM book series aims to do.
Created by entrepreneur and mother of two daughters Cecilia Yiu, Discover Wonders is seeking to raise funds via a Kickstarter campaign which will also serve to generate buzz about the book series among other parents and educators. Cecilia is based out of Dallas, Texas, and has a MBA. Cecilia has also helped build a $5B business operation for a Fortune 10 client and lived internationally for over 18 years.
But her background and journey to getting to the level of success she enjoys today gives you a glimpse into why she is passionate about education and STEM.
As outlined on the Kickstarter campaign page, Cecilia grew up in a slum in Hong Kong. Yet because of her parents desire to give her and her sister a better future, they encouraged the idea and importance of education. Cecilia and her sister both received full scholarships to study in the United States, and she also became the first person in her entire family history to graduate from college.
Wanting to pass on the amazing legacy her parents gave her, Cecilia says the Discover Wonders book series is how she chooses to do this.
“Education breaks the poverty cycle. I am determined to give back by helping parents take control of their children’s education and maximize their kids’ potential. I am the lucky mom to Brielle (4 years old) and Gisele (18 months). They are my muses. Starting at age 3, Brielle has been asking me questions so hard I had to look up answers all the time. I came to realize she was the most excited to learn when I made her lessons relevant to her favorite things,” she explained, sharing how her daughters helped inspire her innovative business idea.
While there are many other STEM initiatives, campaigns and books out there created by parents and entrepreneurs, Cecilia’s project has a very unique aspect to it – a talking STEM pen. The interactive Talking Pen responds to over 300 audio hotspots in each book. Invisible code is printed on each page. The optical reader at the end of the pen acts like a barcode scanner and calls the audio file assigned to the code.
Because of these audio hotspots, children as young as 3 years old can start finding answers on their own and start recognizing words through our games and quizzes. Additionally, a unique feature of the Discover Wonders Talking Book is that, with the help of the pen, you can record your voice on each page, saving the precious moment of your bonding time with your child. Cecilia explains how her own interaction with her daughters is in a sense mimicked in this feature.
“Once I introduced buoyancy during her bath time, evaporation while we watched the clouds, and solubility of salt when we cooked together, Brielle kept making new discoveries relating to water. That was the beginning of Discover Wonders. The Talking component is a means to an end. The gem is the content — a systematic way to inspire children to think beyond the surface. My dream is to help parents who care about education help their children maximize their potential,” she said.
After having her daughters, Cecilia decided to home school them and realized even more the value of going deeper with educational tools than what is offered through school and educational programs. She prefers not to let her children sit there and watch TV when she has to do household chores, so this engaging hybrid of technology and book helps her children learn while they play. While it is important for today’s youth to be immersed in technology from a young age, as this is the culture we live in nowadays, the Talking Pen and the book series is a positive, interactive and educational alternative to simply watching a screen.
Each book takes one “ordinary item” and examines the aspects of science, arts, world awareness, environmental awareness, biology, life application, and so much more. Children will learn to appreciate the “ordinary things” around them.
Schools teach subjects separately, and although It is great to go deep into subjects, Cecilia noticed how today’s innovators think across different dimensions (think AirbnB, Amazon, Apple). These books are designed to develop children’s ability to think like innovators.
Children’s minds are extremely absorbent starting at a young age. Their reading ability and parents’ availability sometimes limit them. The “talking” component empowers children to find answers and learn without these constraints. It also allows them to learn at their own pace.
Whether it is engaging in a word puzzle or quiz, learning about world culture, or discovering the amazing science in everyday items such as fire, air or water, the Discover Wonders book series and Talking Pen has something for every child. And while the Kickstarter campaign is running, there are 50 spots available for Super Early Bird deals and limited amount on Early Bird deals. If you like what you see, we highly recommend supporting the campaign and making sure you secure your place!