Adult coloring books are a popular fad today (since 2014, there’s been a 1,000 percent increase in sales). They're touted as an easy, fun way to relieve stress and energize creativity. Books are available with a variety of themes, including animals, butterflies, flowers, mandalas, paisley geometric patterns and other types of soothing symbols.

Some manufacturers are also getting in on the action. However, they’re using coloring books as a way to reach out to young kids and promote careers in manufacturing.

To spark interest in its new aircraft factory in Mobile, AL, Airbus recently published a short book entitled “Ready for Takeoff.” It tells the story of the Airbus A320 aircraft and its assembly as seen through the eyes of a dog named Rivet who lives with a local family.

Copies of the book were distributed to thousands of kindergarten and first-grade students. Local kids can color the characters and aircraft depicted in the book along with other activities, such as a word-find, a maze and a section that encourages budding engineers to design their own A320 jetliner.

When Kenworth Truck Co. received the inaugural Assembly Plant of the Year award in 2004, I wrote about a 16-page coloring book that illustrates how one of the company’s trucks is built.

As morecompanies invest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and manufacturing) programs in their local communities, perhaps coloring books should play a bigger role in the education process. They’re a great way to reach kids at a young age…and maybe even a few adults along the way.

What do you think? Are coloring books a good way to encourage kids to pursue careers in manufacturing? Do you know of any manufacturers other than Airbus and Kenworth that have created coloring books?