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Learning through STEAM Storybook Kits

STEAM Storybook Kits teach children (ages 2-3+) the foundations of science, technology, engineering, art, math through classic stories.

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Updates: How has your idea changed or evolved throughout the Prize? What updates have you made to this submission? (1500 characters)

Refinement of idea in the slide deck:

Name or Organization



Based in San Francisco, California but the kits can be available globally.

What is your stage of development?

  • New Innovator, with less than one year of experience in ECD


  • Individual

What is the stage of your proposal?

  • Research & Early Testing: I am exploring my idea, gathering the inspiration and information I need to test it with real users.

Describe how your solution could be a game-changer for your selected Opportunity Area (600 characters)

Taking a different twist with classic stories everyone grew up with. Storybook Kits, not only inspire early-childhood literacy but create an appreciation for science, technology, engineering, art, and math. This would bring old tales to life, the illustrations would be updated. Each kit can have different projects or games relating to the stories. We are aiming to develop our concept further to include all steps in the Design Thinking process in kits. This concept can work on all levels, it can be packaged to be sold in stores but also be distributed in lower-income communities.

Select an Innovation Target

  • Product: A new or enhanced physical product that creates value for end beneficiaries.

Tell us more about your innovation (1500 characters)

The Storybook Kits aims to apply classic stories relevant to address modern day world and situations globally. The kits are scalable for all income levels and localized. The kits are mainly analog but with digital components. The kits are meant to be an expandable series that includes a companion mobile app and social website. Storybook Kits create fun, family/classroom/community-oriented sensory experiences through telling stories and play. Each kit will have a different lesson. The first one of the series would be the classic story, “The Three Little Pigs”. The first kit would include a storybook, material to build the three houses, instructions for parents. The series do not need to be limited to classics, partnerships with other authors or publishers is possible. Our goal is to grow the idea to fit into the Design Thinking model.

What problem are you aiming to solve? (3 sentences)

We want to help increase early literacy by bringing awareness to books and teach foundations of science, engineering, art, and math. With the increase of literacy, this would help increase employment rates while driving down crime rates. Though there is a companion app and website to the kits, we want to minimize the use of mobile devices at an early age—there is research speculating social and emotional development impacted by much use.

Explain your idea (5000 characters)

The first kit in the Storybook Kits series would start with the classic story of the Three Little Pigs. The kit would be packaged in a nice box that includes the storybook, the materials for building the model of the houses (straw, sticks, bricks, base, glue, tape), instructions/lesson, link to a companion app and website. The adult would first read the story of the Three Little Pigs to the child. Then together they would construct the three houses using materials provided on top of the bases. Using the instructions the adult would then ask the child to 1) feel the materials, 2) observe the shapes of the structures, 3) try to blow on the houses 4) give the base a shake to see how stable they are, 5) talk about other ways to make the houses stronger. They can take photos of their project and post online then read what others have learned. The classroom/community version would be similar. The larger groups are encouraged have the adult read to them, have the children build structures in groups, then have them observe and test the structures.

Who benefits? (1500 characters)

Children from ages 2-3+ would benefit from the Storybook Kits along with the adults. They would have a deeper appreciation of the stories, books in general, and STEAM projects related to the stories. The stories can come from other countries would open up interests in other topics such as geography and history later. We have interacted with children in the 2-3+ age range with similar concepts. Observed kids in classrooms at daycare. For our own child, we have tied in books with real-world events to teach since he was a baby that has led to early-childhood literacy.

What kind of impact will your idea have? (1500 characters)

According to the World Literacy Foundation, 1 out 5 people in the world cannot read or write. The Storybook Kits would help change this by bringing awareness to books, tie-in foundations of science, technology, engineering, art, and math. The kits would help with developing cognitive and math skills. The impact would help lower the unemployment and crime rates, literacy would also increase education in health and help with gender equality. Children learn through play, listening to stories. STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) toys

How does or how could your idea impact low-income children? (1500 characters)

The Storybook Kits starts with the basic stories, no-frills, low-cost materials for projects. Can be distributed around schools and communities. The kits would help bring families together, help with early literacy helping lower unemployment and crime rates.

Scale: Describe how your idea could reach a significant number of end-users. (1500 characters)

We can envision Storybook Kits appearing in homes, schools, and communities globally. The idea can be distributed in different forms as kits in a story for profit, as lesson plans to schools and communities. The stories can be changed based on geography. The lessons will change based on stories. Partnerships with toy companies such as Lego or different authors can be attainable.

Feasibility: Where are you with understanding the feasibility of your idea? Describe what you’ve done so far and your plans. (3000 characters)

For the Storybook Kits, we have done the ideation around it through sketches and research. Learned from previous experiences in observing in classroom situations, interactions with own child and other children in this age group and talking with teachers.

Tell us more about you (3000 characters)

The idea started from taking my own child out on with books on rides in the car and walks in the stroller. He would always have a book with him. We’d take Eric Carle’s Brown Bear series books to the zoo. My son soon made the connection between his book and real life animals. Later, projects have been inspired from reading stories. My mother was a teacher who I draw inspiration from. Working in the early childhood space is exciting because you get to help shape a child and contribute to their future. I believe in early childhood education. As a designer and parent of a young child, it is rewarding to help inspire others.

Do you have the people and partners you need to do what you’ve described? (600 characters)

Partners supporting business, testing, manufacturing and distribution stages in would help make this idea possible.

As you consider your next steps, what kinds of help could you use? Is there a type of expertise that would be most helpful? (1800 characters)

Next steps would be to expand and refine the idea. Getting expertise in business and the education space to test the product would be helpful.

Would you like mentoring support?

  • Yes

If so, what type of mentoring support do you think you need? (1200 characters)

We would love to have a mentor with expertise in business and education who can help make expand the idea of the Storybook Kit. It would be great to have a mentor to work with through different stages of the process to improve and help scale and bring this to market.

Are you willing to share your email contact information submitted on OpenIDEO with Gary Community Investments?

  • Yes, share my contact information


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