If you want to nurture a youngster’s creative spirit, while also encouraging them to learn about technology, an imaginative new coloring book for kids from IEEE-USA E-books may be the perfect gift.
Whether for holiday – or anytime – giving, Engineering Coloring Book for Kids is a collection of 25 full-page designs, developed to teach children about science and technology, while also providing a fun means of self-expression. Patterns from the engineering world inspired each of the designs — such as circuit boards — as well as engineering applications, including robotics, the International Space Station, and an electronic car. Several pages feature scientific icons, Alessandro Volta and Benjamin Franklin, for example, along with information about their accomplishments. The coloring book is expected to appeal to children ages 9 and older.
Award-winning designer Jeff Knurek, who illustrates the widely syndicated Jumble puzzle, created the coloring e-book for IEEE-USA. Currently, more than 70 million people a day in more than 600 newspapers in the United States and internationally see the Jumble puzzle.
“Early childhood educators have supported the importance of coloring books to a child’s cognitive, psychological and creative development for years,” says Georgia Stelluto, IEEE-USA Publishing Manager; and Manager/Editor of IEEE-USA E-BOOKS. “This new engineering coloring book for kids adds an educational component that’s both informative and fun.”
Jeff Knurek says he included robotics applications for his illustrations because children are naturally captivated by robots. One design that encourages creativity shows an intricate robotic arm for the youngsters to color — but also asks them to draw what they think the arm is reaching for. Another design, on a page featuring various robotic creations, includes a space that invites drawing one’s own robot.
Other pages include mazes children can solve only by tracing the line to the exit through drawing a circuit board. Such exercises enhance motor skills, encourage patience, and teach both boundaries and spatial awareness.
Stelluto points out that IEEE members who purchase this e-book can download and print one or several pages at a time, or the entire book of 25 pages, all at once.
In July 2018, IEEE-USA E-BOOKS published the Engineering Coloring Book for Adults. It seems that coloring books are as beneficial for adults as they are for kids; among grownups, coloring books have proven to lower stress levels, create focus, and provide personal expression.
IEEE-USA selected Jeff Knurek to design both the children’s and the adults’ engineering coloring books for IEEE-USA E-BOOKS. An expert designer and award-winning toy and game inventor, he has a long record of accomplishment for understanding and creating what all age groups need in enjoyable, effective products for all age groups. Knurek describes the pages he designed for the kids’ coloring book as “fun and educational.”
“It’s important for youngsters to be able to relate to engineering achievements that are all around them,” he says. “Everything from the International Space Station and the James Webb Space Telescope to electronic vehicles and robotics.”
He adds that depicting these technological advances also meant adding more detail, but youngsters like this extra element.
An expert illustrator, he recommends that younger children use crayons or washable ink markers to color the pages. Older youngsters might try using colored pencils.
Jeff Knurek has been drawing since childhood, and says he always knew he wanted to design products. After earning his degree in industrial design from the University of Michigan, he became an award-winning toy and game inventor, consumer product developer and graphic artist. His first successful game invention, in 1989, was the outdoor game, Spikeball.
In 2008, Knurek became only the third artist to draw the syndicated Jumble puzzle cartoon. His partner in this effort is puzzle creator David Hoyt. Together, they develop the daily and Sunday Jumble. It is a word puzzle with a clue, a drawing illustrating the clue, and a set of words, each of which is “jumbled” by scrambling its letters to make an anagram. The would-be solver must reconstruct the words, and then arrange letters at marked positions in the words to spell the answer phrase to the clue. The clue and illustration provide hints about the answer phrase, which often uses a homophone or pun.
Engineering Coloring Book for Kids is available at https://ieeeusa.org/shop/fun/engineering-coloring-book-for-kids/ for $2.99 for members and $4.99 for non-members.
Helen Horwitz is an award-winning freelance writer who lives in Albuquerque, N.M. She was with IEEE from 1991 through 2011, the first nine as Staff Director, IEEE Corporate Communications.