No matter what the feeling that the end of summer brings (dread for students, relief for parents), one thing is unavoidable: it's coming for all of us. But although time together will be shorter, there are still plenty of opportunities to connect with different STEM topics. Instituting time to read with students can be a way to utilize those shortened hours. Fortunately, the number of books on STEM topics covering many specialties, perspectives, and age groups is growing daily. Naturally, the top book choices for us here at Nova STEMversity are Who is Nyla Nova?, Nyla Nova: The STEMsation, and Nyla Nova and Her STEMventures. But if we had to pick a few more, here are some of the books on our list.
Young Readers (Ages 10 and below)
Amara and the Bats by Emma Reynolds
Deforestation is an easy problem to forget. Another thicket of trees disappearing to make room for new subdivisions and high-rise apartments is nothing new. But Amara takes issue when she learns that bats, her favorite animals, are in short supply in her new town because of deforestation. So she takes action to save their homes and bring her favorite animals back to the skies.
She Persisted in Science by Chelsea Clinton
Science can seem like a boy's club. It can make it very difficult for girls to find their place, despite the depth of this field. In this book, the writer gives an overview of some of the most prominent female scientists who changed the world. The book's purpose is to teach girls that there is a space for them wherever they decide to be.
Ty's Travels: Lab Magic
The magic and mysteries of science are everywhere. Ty and Corey find those mysteries in museums. They can investigate and explore with their imaginations no matter how old they are.
Jaden's Impossible Garden by Mélina Mangal
Being wrapped up in our world of technology can make it hard to view the natural wonders of nature all around us. It is this problem that Jaden runs into with his mother, who can't see the city's flora and fauna like he can. He shows her and his entire community the beauty they've been missing.
Middle School Readers (Ages 10-13)
Einstein: The Fantastic Journey of a Mouse Through Space and Time (Mouse Adventures) by Torben Kuhlmann
What won't a mouse do for a good slice of cheese? In this case, he'll travel through time. In doing so, he gets lost in time. To get home, he depends on the help of the Swiss physicist name Einstein.
From Here To There: Inventions That Changed the Way the World Moves by Vivian Kirkfield
Moving from point A to point B is much easier because of the brilliance of a great many scientists. This book examines many of them and what led to their breakthroughs.
What Is Nintendo? (What Was?) by Gina Shaw
What would gaming be without the red-hatted plumber and his brother in green? Or the pointy-eared elf with the sword and shield? This book gives us a rundown of where Nintendo started and an idea of where it's headed.
Wonder Women of Science: How 12 Geniuses Are Rocking Science, Technology, and the World by Tiera Fletcher
For anyone seeking a look at even more women in science, this book is for you! But this isn't women from the past making waves in science. This book focuses on women from today who are making the world better and safer for all by using the tech skills they've acquired.
High School Readers (Ages 13-17)
Slay by Brittney Morris
Gaming spaces can be unfriendly to girls. Blackness isn't always welcome either. So Kiera Johnson makes a space for herself and others like her. But when that space becomes a source of contention, she has to decide if it's more important than her future.
The Boy Who Thought Outside the Box: The Story of Video Game Inventor Ralph Baer (People Who Shaped Our World) by Marcie Wessels
Since we're talking about gaming, let's discuss where it began. Before the Atari (and long before the PS5), a man developed a way to use television to play virtual games using World War II tech. How did he do this? He thought outside of the box.
Girl Code: Gaming, Going Viral, and Getting It Done by Andrea Gonzalez and Sophie Houser
Amazing things can happen when girls in tech support other girls in tech. When two girls meet at a coding camp and build something great, they find themselves where they only imagined they'd go. This book even contains some resources to teach coding to novices.
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba
This book is a little older than the rest, but the story is timeless. After a drought wipes out crops and leaves the family poor and without food, William finds a way to turn things around. Using old parts and scrap, he builds a windmill. The windmill's power helps them to get water and bring life back to their crops.
The end of summer doesn't have to mean the end of spending time together. And it doesn't have to mean the end of imparting a love for STEM to students. If anything, the variety of books centering on STEM should be an inspiration for further exploration. One day soon, they may even be writing STEM books of their own!
“Best Stem Books K–12 2022.” NSTA, https://www.nsta.org/beststem22.
“Children's and Young Adult Literature: Best Stem Books.” LibGuides, https://guides.library.unlv.edu/c.php?g=403811&p=4229571.
Corneal, Devon A. “15 STEM Activity Books for Your Middle Grade Brainiac.” Brightly, Brightly, 9 Mar. 2021, https://www.readbrightly.com/stem-activity-books-tweens/.
First Book Marketplace, https://www.fbmarketplace.org/see-all-books/topic/see-all-steam/diversity-in-stem.
Reads, Team Epic. “14 Inspiring Ya Books Starring Women and Girls in Stem.” Epic Reads, Epic Reads, 2 Mar. 2022, https://www.epicreads.com/blog/books-about-women-in-stem/amp/.
Taylor, Melissa. “18 Stem Books That Make Science and Technology Fun for Kids.” Brightly, Brightly, 22 Feb. 2022, https://www.readbrightly.com/stem-books-for-kids/.