Experts across education and industry agree that there is a national shortage of students with a thorough understanding of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM.) It is never too early to start STEM education and an ideal way to get your kids inspired about STEM is through reading.
Children learn the best through a combination of hands-on and minds-on experiences. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics experiences can be introduced and extended with good books that not only show the exciting stories behind innovators but give you ideas for experiments and adventures at home to further explore STEM concepts.
We had some fantastic feedback on our last “15 Books To Get You Engaged With Engineering” and wanted to compile a list of some of our favourite books for younger readers that will be published throughout 2017.
While we have linked the books below to Amazon, they are available from any good bookseller or your local library.
Some of these books will be released later in the year so make sure you follow us on Twitter, or join our newsletter to keep up to date.
All Aboard the Discovery Express – Open the Flaps and Solve the Mysteries
by Emily Hawkins (Author), Tom Adams (Author), Tom Clohosy Cole (Author)
Release – September 2017
All aboard the Discovery Express!. Welcome on board the Discovery Express! The year is 1937 and a conundrum is afoot: a professor on the verge of a brilliant discovery has disappeared. Can you help to solve the clues on this time-travelling adventure and track down the missing scientist?
This beautiful interactive lift the flap adventure challenges you to find a brilliant professor who has disappeared. On your voyage, you’ll travel the world, see some of the most important moments in the history of transportation, meet the most brilliant engineers of all time, and ultimately unveil the design of the world’s first jet engine!
Age Range: 7 – 10 years
Pre-order – All Aboard the Discovery Express
The Story of Space – A First Book about Our Universe
by Catherine Barr (Author), Steve Williams (Author), Amy Husband (Illustrator)
Release – 6 Apr 2017
Before the Big Bang there was NOTHING AT ALL. No galaxies, no space, no light and no sound. Then suddenly, 13.8 billion years ago, IT ALL BEGAN…
The Story of Space is a follow-up to The Story of Life (a beautiful introduction to Evolution) and brings to life the story of our universe for younger (6-9 year old) children.
You can travel back in time to the Big Bang, see galaxies and stars form, watch the birth of our planet and how life begins, join the first man on the moon, and wonder what mysteries are still waiting to be discovered.
Age Range: 6 – 9 years
Pre-order – The Story of Space
Taking Flight – How the Wright Brothers Conquered the Skies
by Adam Hancher
Release – 6 Apr 2017
The pioneering Wright brothers dared to dream of being the first men in the world to fly… but would they ever see their dreams take flight?
In Taking Flight, the golden age of aviation is brought vividly to life through the story of determination, ingenuity and courage of the Wright Brothers.
The book is beautifully illustrated by Adam Hancher, an illustrator from The Black Country who is now based in East London. Adams work has a strong focus on narrative illustration and his thoughtful images within Taking Flight bright the story to life.
Age Range: 4 – 7 years
Astronaut Academy – Are you ready for the challenge
by Steve Martin (Author), Jennifer Farley (Author)
What’s it like to be an astronaut on a mission to Mars? Well, kids will not only find out but can also train for their missions in this exciting activity book. Once enrolled at the academy, they face a variety of challenges and missions that mimic the real-life tasks astronauts may have to perform in space. Specific activities include hand-eye coordination exercises, obstacle courses, building a balloon rocket, basic first-aid skills, how to deal with weightlessness, and doing fiddly things while wearing big gloves!
Informative and ultra interactive, Astronaut Academy is jam-packed full of Space Goodies that are designed to encourage you to create! Sections includes stickers, a poster, board game, press-outs, and a model space shuttle.
This is the ideal book for getting your kids excited about space science and aeronautics. It is the perfect excuse to get your kids involved and engaged in fun STEM based activities at home.
Age Range: 6 – 10 years
On the Train / On the Construction Site – Shine-A Light Books
by Carron Brown (Author), Bee Johnson
Release – 2 Feb 2017
Discover the excitement of life on the rails in this first transport book, perfect for budding train enthusiasts! Simply by holding the pages up to light, young readers can see inside the engine, meet the people who work on the trains, and discover where the trains they travel on go at night.
Watch a skyscraper spring up with this beautifully illustrated interactive book! By simply holding the book up to the light, or shining a light behind each page, young readers will be able to discover how large buildings are constructed, who builds them, and all about the amazing machines they use in the process.
These innovative see-through books function a bit like lift-the-flaps books but have the added interactive dimension of the child being able to see both the surface and the hidden picture at the same time. By shining a light through the page you reveal the hidden image behind the picture.
Other Shine-A-Light books in the series include the Secrets of the Rainforest, Secrets of Our Earth and Secrets of the Seashore. As well as STEM-focused books like “The Human Body” and “On the Space Station”
They are a great introduction to Engineering for younger children – especially at bedtime – and with a range of subjects to choose from you are bound to find a subject that your children will engage with.
Age Range: 3 – 6 years
Pre-Order – 100 Steps for Science
100 Steps for Science – Why it works and how it happened
by Lisa Jane Gillespie (Author), Yukai Du (Author)
Release – 6 Apr 2017
Plunge into the world of science and learn about humankind’s ten most important discoveries, including stars, wheels, numbers, light, medicine, sound, atoms, materials, energy and life.
See how early scientific observations made by ancient civilisations went on to shape our world today, and learn how technology evolved over time in ten breakthrough moments for each of the ten fundamental discoveries.
From the invention of the wheel, which was adapted over thousands of years to power the powerful modern engines of the modern age, learn how simple steps in science led to giant leaps for mankind.
We have saved the best for last. 100 Steps for Science is a stunning book that explores ten separate stories of human ingenuity. You get to meet the scientists whose discoveries have shaped the world we live in.
Aimed at slightly older children (7-10) the book succeeds at exploring complex topics (like how the creation of numbers led to the digital revolution, the ten incredible reinventions of the wheel, how the simple log roller of early man resulted in the creation of the machines of the Industrial Revolution and modern engines and turbines of today) in an exciting and visually accessible way.
Lisa Jane Gillespie background from studying science has helped her in editing all sorts of children’s books. However, 100 Steps for Science has allowed her to combined her love and talent to pen. The book is illustrated by Yukai Du, illustrator and animator from Guangzhou, China, who’s work has been featured in Wired, TED-Ed, The Washington Post, The New York Times and The Telegraph.
Age Range: 7 – 10 years