Updated: June 29, 2022
In the early 21st century, it would inconceivable for nearly anyone to put the words babies and computer engineering in one sentence. Thanks to the swift advancement of science and technology, however, the world has positioned this generation in circumstances that not only have made it viable but have also made it possible to teach the basics of computer engineering to babies.
Yes, concepts of higher education have made their way into children-friendly content through books that use boards to show the young minds of today how simple logic and fundamental concepts of computer engineering works.
This breakthrough is a nod to STEM learning. STEM education, grounded upon the foundational concepts of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, is the recommended school of thought for parents as they guide their children through their developmental and formative years.
With the help of this innovation, children can finally be given the chance to develop their logical capabilities at a young age. Such an opportunity can lead to greater things as it assists in STEM education and the development of critical thinking and reality-based problem-solving.
Computer Engineering For Babies
The book, called “Computer Engineering for Babies,” was written and created by Chase Roberts. His mission was to fill a gap in child learning and development that seemingly doesn’t cater to the field of computer engineering, a field that has increasingly become more and more vital as human society, science, and technology progresses.
But how can babies possibly grasp the concepts of computer engineering? Chase believes that the answer lies in the very foundation of the field – logic. By using lights and buttons, which children simply cannot resist, Chase developed a simple yet interactive circuitry that powered a mechanism that exhibits basic logic scenarios. He then embedded the circuitry right on the book and designed it to reconfigure into a different logical scenario every time a page is turned. The literary wonder was designed for kids to explore, discover, and, hopefully, understand.
Discovery and Conceptualization
The origin of such an innovative and imaginative idea is rooted in Chase’s desire to gently encourage his own son into learning about computer engineering. To his dismay, he discovered that current educational materials like books and toys have yet to provide developmental resources for his field of choice.
The design of the book was inspired by his own son, Frank’s, mannerisms and tendencies. As a baby, Chase took notice of his bay’s fascination and habitual fixation on lights and buttons, switches, and levers. In an anecdote he once recounted, he detailed how Frank would ask him to hold him up near switches so he can toggle them off. Once he flips the switch, he would survey the area to see how any of the lights would respond. When Frank confirms that he did turn a light off, he would then proceed to turn it on once more and repeat the process.
Chase believes that this fascination, as evidenced by Frank’s Story, with switches, buttons, levers, and light stem from curiosity and exploration of cause and effect. Computer Engineering for Babies, according to Chase himself, was developed for this exact purpose: to quietly entertain young mavericks while guiding them towards building their basic intuition for simple digital logic concepts.
To capture and maintain the fragile and volatile attention of today’s young minds, the book’s design took a page from the proven formula of using vibrant colors and visually stimulating aesthetics.
The logical exercises on every page are arranged according to the complexities of each circuit. The book starts with the most common logic gates before moving into something more advanced like a latch circuit, reconfiguring the two buttons to act as a set and reset inputs.
The journey towards the book’s completion was no easy endeavor as well. According to Chase himself, he worked through at least eight different prototypes before coming up with the version that worked consistently and according to his standards. He also shared that he reconfigured the entire circuit board at least five times before he worked his way into the version that the world knows today. His goal was to make the book as easy to use as possible, and for such a complex product, a lot of work had to be done.
To ensure that children had the best possible learning and entertaining experience, Chase was extremely meticulous with every detail that came into the book’s production. He admitted that he spent months deciding on the buttons to use for the books as he values the sensory experience that users will be exposed to as they go through each logical exercise.
Publishing and Success
The book received high acclaim from both the media and the academe. Even social media users have expressed their fondness for the project, sharing that some of them have only started learning some of the concepts shared in the book upon taking higher education. A couple of Twitter users have also discussed how fortunate today’s young generation is to have such an innovation available to help them as they develop.
Debuting on Kickstarter late in 2021, it received crowdfunding of over $240,000 as of December 11. The book has gained a support base of over 5000 backers on Kickstarter as well. Various tech publications and blogs have also featured the book and Chase himself. In December 2021, MEDIUM interviewed Chase about the book, its creation, conceptualization, and success.
The innovative design that this book possesses helps children gain an early understanding of basic logic, a recognition of cause and effect, and an excellent sensory experience. Its development is a great leap for STEM education and will help the next generation of thinkers discover the beauty of computer engineering.
In his interview with MEDIUM, Chase shared a lesson that he learned through the experience that many venturers will surely come to relate with.
“It’s not always going to be fun.” There’s always a point when I get bored of an idea because I’ve done all the fun stuff. That’s when it’s crucial to just push through the grog and keep going. With Computer Engineering for Babies. I quit several times because I got bored or I got excited about other things. Fortunately, I kept coming back and pushed the project to completion.”