Not too long ago, in a land not very far away, the Acentech marketing department was curious how we might inspire kids to learn about sound and acoustics. We were inspired by our colleagues’ presentations at Nitsch Engineering’s ‘Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day’ and hoped to produce something for younger children. Hmmm, how about a coloring book? Something fun, educational and portable!
We came up with some general ideas: a story introducing sound and acoustics to small kids; a need to have simple illustrations; and a need to feature some ‘characters’- including one called Mr. Wave, who would look an awful lot like the Acentech logo icon! Having a background in graphic design with a side of illustration, I volunteered to work on this project.
I thought about who I was at 4-6 years old (our targeted demographic). My best memories involved playing outdoors and making stuff out of found objects. Sticks, leaves, rocks and mud were standard working materials. (Yes, I know, it sounds like I grew up in the Stone Age… don’t worry, I had plenty of plastic toys too.)
My initial sketches involved two characters who were best friends. But what would they look like? They needed to be shapes that were easy for children of all ages to color. As a nature lover, I immediately thought of the simplicity of an acorn. Acorn’s friend needed to be roughly acorn-sized, small, round and abundant… like a small stone. And like that, Pebble was born!
In this book, the characters would be in nature, meet their new friend, Mr. Wave, and learn about sound. Inspiration for the acoustics and sound scenarios came from colleague Eric Ungar’s Acoustics from A to Z (an illustrated book introducing the basic terminology of sound, vibration and acoustics) and helpful input from acoustics consultants in our office .
Here’s a link to download Pebble and Acorn. Feel free to print it out, share it with kids and encourage some creative play and learning. We look forward to hearing from you!