Written by: Dr. Reagan Flowers, PhD
Though many activities associated with STEM are implemented through hands-on activity, reading is still a crucial skill for students. First, reading can help students discover which areas of science, technology, math, and engineering excite them. Second, it provides a crucial base of knowledge for engaging in these areas. Third, all students learn differently, and reading gives students the opportunity to learn about these topics at their own pace.
What if a child is more interested in subjects outside of STEM? Almost every job of the future will include some form of technology. Even today, try to think of a career that does not involve interacting with a computer in some way. As new technologies continue to evolve, every industry is affected. Data analytics have become crucial in competitive markets, and you’ll find science and math play large roles across a vast number of fields, including marketing and business operations.
Sparking an interest in STEM also helps build the skills needed in an agile world. Today, the type of work you do when you enter the workforce is likely to vastly change as technology and industries do. Tomorrow’s workers must have the ability to adapt quickly to change.
We recommend the following books to help engage students in STEM:
Children 8 and Under
Math-terpices: The Art of Problem-Solving
Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women
Maker Lab: 25 Super Cool Projects
Why is Milk White?: &200 Other Curious Chemistry Questions
Please note if you order any of these books through Amazon Smile, please support C-STEM with your purchase (it costs you nothing extra). Just choose CSTEM as your preferred charity at smile.amazon.com, and Amazon will donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to C-STEM.
Whether you are a parent or a teacher, be sure to engage with your child(ren) about the books above. What are they enjoying? What do they find fascinating? What activities do they want to try? The more engaged they are, the more they’ll want to learn and grow.
Not every book will be a hit with every child, but we all have that one experience, one book or one teacher who inspired us in lasting ways. Making this connection is sometimes an experiment in itself. If a science book doesn’t make an impact, try engineering or robotics. If that doesn’t stick, try a book that weaves STEM and art together. Childhood is a time of exploration, and every child should have the chance to figure out what inspires passion for them. We think the books listed above are a great start.