STEM Storybooks Come to Life at Let’s Read! E-Book Cambodia Hackathon

Phnom Penh, August 22, 2017 — The Asia Foundation in Cambodia hosted the Let’s Read! E-Book Hackathon, “STEM for Kids” over the weekend at the Tekhub incubator space. During the two-day hack challenge on August 19-20, a team of local writers, illustrators, and graphic designers gathered to collaborate and produce eight original, local-language children’s stories designed to spark an interest in science, technology, engineering, and math in young readers.

Cambodia Let's Read

A team of local writers, illustrators, and graphic designers gathered to collaborate and produce eight original, local-language children’s stories.

The event was the third in the Let’s Read! E-Book Hackathon series focused on nurturing a small yet growing number of children’s book professionals while raising public awareness on the importance of reading. Let’s Read! stories cover relevant and underrepresented themes in the country. According to the “STEM Careers for the Future” guidebook issued by the Cambodian government, STEM knowledge will be invaluable to the country’s aspiration to reach Middle Income Country status.

Let’s Read is also taking advantage of the rapidly growing popularity and accessibility of smartphones by providing the e-books for free under an open license for anyone to read, download, and adapt. The books are available on Let’s Read! website, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MOEYS’s) Krou website, and multiple digital libraries in Cambodia.

Let’s Read! is generously supported by Smart, Cambodia’s leading mobile telecommunications company. Sabay Digital Corporation is the project’s media partner and community partners Room to Read and Pratham Books lend editorial expertise.

Having seen the fruits of the previous Let’s Read! hackathons, Jonathan Yap, Head of Regulatory and Corporate Affairs at Smart, expressed his delight in the partnership’s success to date: “STEM awareness and knowledge is vital from a young age. Seeing the huge response towards the previous Let’s Read! e-books that were shared on our Smart for Cambodia Facebook page, I’m positive that the subsequent STEM e-books will again reach out and impact a large group of readers. I hope that this program will also catalyze more young authors and designers to explore digital reading solutions in Cambodia.”

Read more information about the Let’s Read! initiative

Since 1954, The Asia Foundation’s Books for Asia program has donated print books to thousands of under-resourced educational institutions in 21 Asian countries. While print remains the most effective means of delivering information in many parts of the developing world, mobile technology’s increasing affordability suggests e-books hold the promise of becoming a cost-effective, scalable model.

Read more about the Foundation’s work.

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Related locations: Cambodia
Related programs: Books for Asia, Technology & Development
Related topics: Let's Read! Asia

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