If you want your kids to learn about STEM, and read some books, you can't really go wrong with any of the following 30+ STEM books. Who knows, it may even inspire them to pursue a life-long rewarding career in one, or all, of its disciplines.
The following selection is not meant to be a definitive collection of the best STEM books on the market. It is merely intended to offer a sampling of the many great STEM books for kids available.
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What is STEM education?
STEM is a curriculum that is based on the idea of teaching children, or anyone, the principles of four critical fields of study - science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Rather than treating them in isolation, STEM educational tends to form an interdisciplinary and applied means of study.
What is STEM, and why is it important?
STEM is a method of teaching science, engineering, technology, and mathematics in an integrated and interdisciplinary manner.
These four fields of study are vitally important to many aspects of society - from understanding the universe to building everything around us. Our entire history of development has, in some form, been pushed along by all four of these fields.
A firm understanding and education in STEM are critical to innovation and technological development for a nation and the world as a whole. Its importance cannot be overemphasized for our species' advancement - in the past, the present, and the future.
Great books for teaching kids about STEM
Here are some 30+ books that will help nurture a love for STEM in your children. This list is far from exhaustive and is in no particular order.
1. Math Curse by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith
Math Curse is a fun little book about math that will entertain and educate your child in equal measures. It's a great book for making maths appealing to kids.
2. Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty
Ada loves everything about science as well as asking questions about the world. This lovely little story will help inspire your child to use their mind to problem solve and fall in love with all things science.
3. Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty
Here's another STEM book for children written by Andrea Beaty. This time we follow Iggy who has loved to build things since he was a little baby. Plant the seed of becoming an engineer with this great STEM book for kids.
4. The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
This little book about STEM strives to show kids that invention requires frustration, failure, and determination. It will help show your children that success isn't guaranteed - you need to work to get the things you really want.
5. Nick and Tesla Series by Steve Hockensmith and Bob Pfugfelder
Nick and Tesla are a couple of 11-year-old twin inventors and detectives. Each story in the series will show readers how they solve various STEM mysteries.
6. How Machines Work by David Macaulay
Making good use of pop-ups, lifting flaps and levers, this book helps introduce children to the workings of certain machines. This interactive book will inspire your child to learn more about STEM.
7. Super Cool Tech by DK
This cool-looking STEM book showcases some of the coolest inventions of all time. It will certainly help inspire your kids to nurture an interest in STEM.
8. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (Young Readers Edition) by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer
Now a critically acclaimed Netflix original film, this STEM book is a true inspiration for all aspiring engineers and scientists. This true story sees a young boy, William, help his drought-ravaged village by building a working wind-powered water pump!
9. Astronaut-Aquanaut by Jennifer Swanson
Here's another great STEM book for kids. Explore the depths of the ocean or the vastness of space in this fascinating volume, where space and sea - two seemingly unrelated fields - collide.
10. Maker Lab: 28 Super Cool Projects: Build * Invent * Create * Discover by Jack Challoner
This well-designed and wonderfully illustrated book for kids has 28 child-friendly experiments and STEM activities. Each project makes use of common household items and comes in three levels of difficulty.
11. Curiosity: The Story of a Mars Rover by Markus Motum
This STEM book for kids explains the fascinating story behind the technology that went into building the Mars Curiosity Rover.
12. Countdown: 2927 Days to the Moon by Suzanne Slade
Since we are on the subject of Space Exploration, this book recounts the historic push to land the first humans on the Moon.
13. How We Got To Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson
This great book tracks the stories of some of the most important inventions of all time.
14. Google It: The History of Google by Anna Crowley Redding
Aimed at older children and young adults, this book explores the humble beginnings of this tech giant.
15. Otis and Will Discover the Deep: The Record-Setting Dive of the Bathysphere by Barb Rosenstock
This book explores Will Beebe and Otis Barton's groundbreaking deep-sea dive in 1930.
16. When Sparks Fly: The True Story of Robert Goddard, theFather of US Rocketry by Kristen Fulton
Packed full of wonderful, and colorful illustrations, this colorful STEM book describes the journey of Robert Goddard, the Father of U.S. Rocketry.
17. The Wright Brothers: Nose-Diving into History by Eric Slader and Ben Thomson
Treat your kids with this great STEM book that is packed with fun and facts. This well-illustrated book explores the successes and failures of the Wright Brothers.
18. Spin the Golden Lightbulb by Jackie Yeager
Follow the story of a sixth-grade young inventor who is competing for a place in a futuristic school for inventors.
19. Inga's Amazing Ideas by Ann Rubino
This fictional tale tells the story of Inga, a recently adopted orphan whose inventive spirit helps her family and community in interesting ways.
20. Cyrus Field's Big Dream: The Daring Effort to Lay the FirstTransatlantic Telegraph Cable by Mary Morton Cowan
Increase your child's curiosity about technological history with this recounting of Cyrus Field's incredible journey to lay the very first transatlantic telegraph cable between North America and Europe.
21. The Book of Chocolate by HP Newquist
This book on chocolate tracks the history of and origins of your child's favorite treat.
22. Elon Musk and the Quest for a Fantastic Future (Young Readers’ Edition) by Ashlee Vance
This book tracks the successes and failures of one of the most high-profile engineers of the current era.
23. John Deere, That's Who! by Tracy Nelson Maurer
This book helps young readers understand the groundbreaking (literally) work of John Deere. His labors helped revolutionize farming around the world.
24. Shark Lady: The Daring Tale of How Eugenie Clark Dove Into History by Jess Keating
Follow the story of a brave female researcher as she helps us learn to think differently about sharks. Packed with lovely illustrations, this book will really inspire your child.
25. Voyager’s Greatest Hits: The Epic Trek to Interstellar Space by Alexandria Siy
Here is another awesome book about the fascinating history of space exploration from ancient times to the modern-day.
26. From Here to There by HP Newquist
Another entry from HP Newquist, this book helps young readers understand the progression and innovation that has taken place in transportation throughout time.
27. Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea by Robert Burleigh
This great little STEM book tracks the work of Marie Tharpe who carefully plotted the Atlantic depth data to help discover a remarkable formation.
28. Super Gear by Jennifer Swanson
This book for kids helps them understand the innovations and promises of nanotechnology.
29. Whoosh! by Chris Barton
Tracking the story of Lonnie Johnson, the man who brought the world the amazing invention - the super soaker - this inspirational tale will help children understand the importance of problem-solving and dedication.
30. The Marvelous Thing That Came from a Spring by Gilbert Ford
On the subject of one of the best toys of all time, this book explores the labors of Naval Engineer Richard James who developed the Slinky.
Bonus - Eco Kids Self-Sufficiency Handbook: STEAM Projects to Help Kids Make a Difference
This book helps children learn about self-sufficiency in a sustainable way. It is specifically designed to help children between the ages of 7 and 14 put down their phones, be curious about the world around them, and get involved in STEM.