Schools around the world rely on STEM curriculums to give children practical, applicable knowledge and a path to lifelong success. Science, technology, engineering, and math encompass a large and growing career field for future generations.
Introducing STEM concepts to kids at an early age through books can give them a chance to excel at these subjects in the future. They can progress through school, into college, and finally on to lucrative career opportunities.
Start their journey early with these fantastic STEM books for kids filled with inspirational stories, learning concepts, and interesting facts to encourage curiosity.
The Mysteries of the Universe
By Will Gater
Children can imagine the limitless possibilities of space with this beautifully illustrated glimpse into the infinite. Through an engaging series of storytelling and vivid descriptions, it offers insights into hundreds of remarkable objects found in the vastness of space. Readers between 6 to 9 can learn more about the universe, but younger or older children will find it just as fascinating. The engaging book does a great job of balancing the information without overloading readers.
Space exploration starts here on earth with a trip through The Mysteries of the Universe.
My First Book of Planets: All About the Solar System for Kids
By Bruce Betts PhD
Kids ages 3-5 will enjoy learning about our planetary neighborhood as they explore the solar system. They learn about all 8 planets and the many dwarf planets, including everyone’s old favorite, Pluto. Full-color photos and vibrant descriptions bring the planets to life and let kids explore space from the comfort of home. The book can really pique the interest of young minds and get them interested in astronomy. By providing interesting facts and comparisons, it helps keeps them engaged and excited about what their reading.
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
By William Kamkwamba
Based on the real-life heroism of author William Kamkwamba, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind teaches children the power to overcome adversity through ingenuity. It tells the true story of a young man who comes to the rescue of his village by creating a windmill to pump life-giving water for the crops and people. The idea serves as an inspirational story to other children of a child who uses his self-taught STEM skills and knowledge to build something great for his community.
How Machines Work: Zoo Break!
By David Macaulay
In How Machines Work: Zoo Break, technology, and engineering are the forefront subjects. The book focuses on two wacky characters, Sloth and Sengi, as they navigate their way through an escape by studying and building machines. The book teaches through humor and hands-on interactivity. It’s pretty hands-on as you’ll find many parts of the book actually move. It shows the basic concepts of machines, from simple things like levers and pullers with pop-up models.
Ada Twist, Scientist
By Andrea Beaty
Join Ada Twist in her endless curiosity about the world as she performs science experiments, engages in fact-finding missions, and learns about perseverance. Ada Twist is inspired by real-life superstar women scientists Ada Lovelace and Marie Curie. This is an excellent book for kids interested in future STEM careers to read and serves as an inspiration for young minority women and shows why curiosity is essential. It’s won many bestseller awards and is suitable for kids of any age starting at 3.
National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Why
By Amy Shields
Parents can bring easy-to-understand content of the National Geographic Almanac with this installment of the popular magazine series. Engage young minds to ask questions, observe the world around them, and never stop learning. With loads of opportunities for interaction, this book is a crowd-pleaser. It stands out with the color and gives kids loads of random facts like how cars work and why balloons float. Toddlers to preschool students will love it.
Spectacular Stories for Curious Kids STEM Edition
By Jesse Sullivan
Spectacular Stories for Curious Kids covers everything about STEM. Colorfully crafted stories based on historical discoveries and breakthroughs immerse young readers. Empower and uplift any child with pages of exciting and engaging content. The book is aimed at those 8-14, and each page provides an adventure of its own, with stories about scary creatures throughout history and the amazing lives of certain inventors.
Emma Ren Robot Engineer
By Jenny Lu
Education comes to life in Emma Ren Robot Engineer. In the story, Emma, a young engineer, enters a robot competition and works on building a battle robot while overcoming the stigma coming from her peers. This publication challenges young readers to improve their understanding of core STEM concepts through imagination and to ask questions. It’s one of the top stem books for young girls and helps empower them to overcome obstacles on their way to success.
All About Weather: A First Weather Book for Kids
By Huja Harajli, MA
All About Weather teaches concepts about the weather and temperature in a fun and illustrative manner. It covers all the topics one might be interested in regarding why it rains, thunders, and more. It has information on every single season, and the images really help get the concept across. If your preschooler has been asking questions about anything related to the weather, this is a great way to introduce them to the topic.
Ask A Scientist
By Robert Winston
In Ask A Scientist, Robert Winston answers 100 questions about anything related to science in a precise and easy-to-understand manner for young enthusiasts. He covers everything from topics like space, anatomy, chemistry, and more. Don’t be surprised if your kids start to tell you about a random fact you may not have known otherwise. The novel is colorful and stands out to keep things engaging and memorable.
Computer Decoder: Dorothy Vaughan, Computer Scientist
By Andi Diehn
This installment of the Picture Book Biography series covers Dorothy Vaughan, one of the first African American managers at NASA. It’s a colorfully illustrated glimpse into the life of a legend and the skills that made her famous. There are practical coding examples and lessons about the importance of resilience and helpful illustrations to go along with it. While STEM topics are covered, it also offers a bit of history into the past.
The Big Book of Amazing LEGO Creations with Bricks You Already Have
By Sarah Dees
LEGO is where learning and fun collide. This book gives kids a vast collection of LEGO projects to complete with bricks they already have. It provides detailed, step-by-step instructions and inspiration for months worth of different builds, like race cars, animals, ships, and more. This LEGO creations book piques children’s curiosity and develops their critical thinking skills as they use it to build their dream crafts.
Rox’s Secret Code
By Mara Lecocq
Rox, a tech-savvy tween, is an inventor who uses her computer programing skills to bring her creations to life. After her dad asked her to clean her room, she decided to create and code a robot, dubbed the Chorebot, to do the job for her. An experienced coder, she wrote a sorting program that incorporated artificial intelligence, imbuing the robot with the power to clean up all sorts of disorders. The robot cleaned, organized, and everything was great! Until it wasn’t.
Dragons vs. Unicorns (Kate the Chemist)
By Kate Biberdorf
Kate the Chemist is a playful story about a ten-year-old scientist and problem solver tasked with helping direct the school musical Dragons vs. Unicorns. Through her observation and application of science skills, Kate helps save the musical from sabotage with the help of her friends. It’s an entertaining read that encourages scientific thinking. It’s suitable for students in 3rd to 7th grade.
A World of Information
By Richard Platt
At nearly 15 inches high, A World of Information is full of fascinating facts for curious minds. It’s chock full of information that your kids might spend a lot of time looking over its pages rather than shelving it. Monotone graphics give the book a clean, calm, retro feel, as opposed to National Geographic books. The book tackles 30 topics, each with a two-page spread. Subjects include the human skeleton, atomic structure, and music notation. More obscurely, it also features morse code, screws and nails, and standards in paper sizing. This seems like a book that a grandparent might gift to their grandchild.
The Berenstain Bears’ Big Book of Science and Nature
By Stan Berenstain
The storybook takes you on a scientific voyage through nature with the Berenstain Bears. With their guide, Professor Actual Factual, kids can learn about plants and animals. There are simple science projects and an almanac that covers one year of seasons in Bear Country. This is a scientifically-focused romp through Stan Berenstain’s timeless backdrop. It makes for a perfect gift for toddlers and kindergarten students.
Super Scratch Programming Adventure
By Lead Project
Kids will love this because it looks like a bound comic book or graphic novel. It’s bright, colorful, and fun, plus they made MIT professor and Scratch creator Mitch Resnick into a comic character.
Scratch is a free downloadable program developed by Mitch and his team at MIT and funded by the US National Science Foundation. Officially, Scratch is for kids 8 and up, but because the language is so visual, commands literally fit together like puzzle pieces, I know kids who have started on it earlier.
If you have a younger child or one timid about programming, this book is a good guide for parents and children to work through together. The colorful drag-and-drop interface allows you to create games, stories, and presentations.
Galaxy Girls: 50 Amazing Stories of Women in Space
By Libby Jackson
These stories have the right amount of information about women scientists and space explorers. The book is organized by when they lived, starting as early as the 1700s with Emilie du Chatelet, a mathematician and physicist. She completed a French translation of Sir Isaac Newton’s Principia Mathematica less than a week before her death.
The profiles continue into the present day, and each one features a quote from a woman along with an illustrated portrait, which was created by students and graduates from the London College of Communication. Like Irene Long, a doctor and NASA’s Chief Medical Officer, who was so interested in aerospace medicine that she wrote numerous letters to get into a program in her home state of Ohio until she finally got a call back to apply.
The book brings to light the people in the background who got astronauts into space and made sure they were safe.
Mistakes That Worked: 40 Familiar Inventions & How They Came to Be
By Charlotte Foltz Jones
Teaching kids the power of overcoming adversity is essential to their growth. Charlotte Foltz Jones provides 40 examples of how greatness came from mistakes and their impact on the rest of the world. It can give future inventors ages 8+ the courage to make mistakes and show them how to learn from them and adapt to succeed.
Ada Lace On The Case
By Emily Calendrelli
Emily Calendrelli, host and producer of Xploration Outer Space and MIT grad, wrote the book series, Ada Lace on the Case. These chapter books are written for elementary school readers. The largish-print text is broken up with illustrations that drive home the fact that Ada lives in a culturally diverse neighborhood.
Third-grader Ada not only has a knack for science and math, but she uses technology to solve neighborhood mysteries, such as the disappearance of a dog on her block. Each book features a section that explains the science behind the technology that appears in the story, like drones and gecko gloves.