What’s the most important trait you’d like for your child to develop? If you’re like most parents and educators, intelligence is probably at the top of your list. Generally speaking, almost all parents want clever, thoughtful children, which is why we spend so much time choosing the right schools and making sure educators are exceeding expectations. With that being said, it’s important to remember: as a parent, you have the power to boost your children’s learning potential simply by making books an integral part of their lives.
Believe it or not, STEM subjects are a crucial part of a child’s education, both now and in their future. These STEM books are filled with great stories and cool project ideas that can help children create a foundation for any mixture of STEM disciplines. I hope the books recommended below spark interest, teach you something new, and make STEM obtainable for your child.
STEM Study Unit
The Everything Kids’ Science Experiment Book: With “The Everything Kids’ Science Experiment Book,” all you really need to do is gather some items around the house and you can recreate dozens of spectacular, kid-tested science experiments. As children start immersing themselves into the experimental world, they will enter the scientific laboratory and learn how to conduct cool observations, understand scientific terms like ‘acid rain;’ and discover fun facts like how many latex balloons per day can be made from one rubber tree?
The book provides instructions on how to conduct experiments, explain scientific terms, and teaches fun, general science facts. For the most part, this book does a great job helping students focus on the overall concept of what it means to be a scientist. Who knows, after conducting their research, your student (like my nephew), might feel compelled to take on much bigger worldly problems. Debunking myths, and wanting to educate the world on how if climate change continues to worsen, food shortages could drive prices higher creating a global food shortage.
STEM Lesson Essentials, Grades 3-8: Ever wonder how to implement authentic STEM teaching and learning in a classroom environment? That’s just what the authors of this book wanted. They designed this book with the intention of helping children understand how to take an interdisciplinary approach to problem-solving. As a matter of fact, the book takes this interdisciplinary approach of learning and removes the traditional barriers dividing the four subjects (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and integrates them into real-world learning experiences for children to understand.
Here are some questions the books will explore along the way:
- What is STEM literacy? In other words, what are the different interdisciplinary levels of STEM teaching?
- How does STEM education promote learning in the 21st Century?
- What is STEM teaching and learning? What does it look like from a classroom point of view?
The authors behind this book also argue that STEM education in itself isn’t a curriculum that can be taught overnight, but rather a way of organizing and delivering directions by analyzing the four disciplines together. This, however, can be easier said than done. Especially when it comes to things like finance, the economy, and state laws since legislatures keep changing the rules. Nevertheless, this book will prompt your child to start thinking for themselves and take on life’s problem based on a case-by-case basis from things they’ve learned in their STEM subjects.
Engineer Through the Year: 20 Turnkey STEM Projects to Intrigue, Inspire & Challenge (Grade K-2): This book inspires every student with real-world, hands-on engineering challenges. Can students as young as kindergarten through second grade really become engineers that early? Of course, they can. All parents and teachers have to do is present the information to the student with the exciting challenges found throughout the book. The material is built to fold right into their curriculum and tie to whatever themes you have listed for the month. You can start by introducing students to Sandi’s simple five-step engineering design process. As you guide them through this with simple questions, watch your young engineers become filled with delight as they create their own unique boats, drums, kites, and umbrellas. Kids will especially love the holiday season topics that include Native American style instruments, candy houses, snowman hats, and much more.
Advanced Tip: Before you introduce this book to students, make sure you prepare ahead of time. In other words, teach activity lessons that include brainstorming time, planning time, an active building stage, and test results.
Klutz LEGO Chain Reactions Craft Kit: LEGO Education has been around for a while, creating educational kits and curricula to teach programming, simple machines, robotics, pneumatics, engineering and more. The LEGO Chain Reactions Kit is packed full of ideas and inspiration for 10 LEGO machines that spin, swing, lift, and roll. Each machine alone is fun to play with, but put them together and you get an incredible chain reaction.
Who cares if it doesn’t do anything useful? The fun is watching it all come together and operate.
Designed and written by a genius team of experts, educators, and 11-year-olds, the LEGO Chain kit opens up children to the world of physics and show how fun it can be.
STEM Through the Months – Back to School Edition: “STEM Through the Months: Back to School Edition” gets kids started for a great year of STEM for scientists, engineers, mathematics, makers, and poets. Designed for both teachers and students, the book includes August activities that are designed to help educators make and create a positive classroom experience. Using monthly-themed events as a springboard and the maker movement for inspiration, students are able to build cross-curricular connections as they explore STEM.
Typically aimed at students in grades three through eight, these engaging and innovative lessons are easy for students of all ages. The project and poetry lessons, for example, have been tested in classrooms according to the author, Gary Carnow, and highly enjoyable for teachers and students involved. Inside the book itself, you will find a jam-packed month of August STEM lessons, projects, and poetry that can be used all year long. Drawing on the inner poet in every child and allowing them to figure things out on their own. Through the various activities listed throughout the book, authors are hoping that students will begin to get A’s on their report cards in subjects like Art and take a greater interest in other subjects like science, engineering, and mathematics.
Wanting the Best for Your Child
As a final point, every parent’s dream is for their child to grow up being successful and independent. The only way this dream can become a reality, however, is by investing in your child. Generally speaking, STEM majors earn the highest salaries and the term “unemployment” is practically non-existence in this career field. Although younger adults are far more likely than older ones to live with their parents, coming from a STEM background means it’s less likely for your child to live at home after graduating.
“Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.” – Albert Einstein
Thanks for the read! There are tons of amazing books out there that educate students in various ways about STEM projects. With that being said, what are some other books that parents can look into? Feel free to leave a comment.