If you're the parent of a school-age kid, getting your child interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) activities might be pretty high on your to do list. But finding educational resources that are fun and accessible isn't always easy. One college student is aiming to change that, however, with a cute new STEM kids book that's all about circuits.
Emily Bayuk is a junior at Bucknell University who's pursuing a degree in electrical engineering. Her interest in STEM kicked into high gear when she started to learn about circuits. She tells Romper via email: "It wasn’t until my physics class during my junior year of high school that I discovered circuits. I was fascinated immediately and wished I learned about the topic earlier in my education. After conducting my own further studies, I realized that many of the resources I found were geared towards high school and college students. I want to change this." Bayuk wanted to make it easier for kids and young people to learn about the topic she found so interesting, and that's how her book was born. It's called The Fundamentals of Circuits Made Easy, and you can score a copy on Amazon for $10.
If you think circuits sound like an intimidating topic to learn about, Bayuk's book will definitely change your mind. She had the genius idea of designing it like a bullet journal. The book is all hand-written and features adorable illustrations to explain complex topics — keep an eye out for a cute little Ben Franklin as well as a cartoon dwarf. "Each page is like a mini work of art — fun and exciting to absorb — as opposed to words on a page in a typical textbook. Sometimes, it is more challenging deciphering the language of a textbook, rather than the material," she wrote in the book's introduction. Peruse a couple of pages of the book, and you'll likely be pleasantly surprised by how easy it is to understand (and I'm saying this as someone who had to drop high school physics because it was too scary for me, and who also couldn't actually explain what a circuit was before writing this article).
While the book is meant for anyone who's interested in learning more about STEM topics in general and circuits specifically, Bayuk especially hopes it resonates with little girls, and ultimately helps shift the gender imbalance in her chosen field of study. The statistics show the extent of the problem: just 13% of engineers in the workforce are female, according to the most recent numbers from the Society of Women Engineers. "If they are intrigued at a young age, perhaps we can change the trajectory of women in engineering," Bayuk wrote.
One big stumbling block for girls when it comes to studying STEM is that they sometimes simply lack confidence in their abilities, according to the non-profit Venture Lab. A book like Bayuk's is an excellent way to make these fields feel more approachable to young students, and open up a whole new world of academic and career possibilities for girls.