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Trends in STEM

5 STEM Books That Inspire Kids to Fall Into Reading

As we transition from summer into autumn, the National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF) invites you to check out a few of our favorite children’s books. Each of these books explores STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fun while celebrating the fall season!


Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf” by Lois Ehlert

Written and illustrated by Caldecott Honor winner Lois Ehlert, this book celebrates nature and the main character’s powerful connection to a sugar maple tree. Incredible watercolor collages combine with images of found objects including roots, wire and seeds to present an engaging narrative. A glossary at the end of the book explains in an accessible way how sap circulates within a tree, how photosynthesis works and how roots can absorb essential nutrients.


The Apple Pie Tree” by Zoe Hall

Telling the story of two sisters who observe the changes their apple tree makes through the four seasons, this book explores nature in a tasty way by including a scrumptious apple pie recipe children can try with their families. The kitchen is an excellent place to explore STEM concepts in a hands-on way, so we recommend making use of this recipe and inviting children to make an apple pie of their own.


How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin?” by Margaret McNamara

Perfect for Halloween, this book tells the story of a teacher who asks his class to guess the number of seeds inside a small, medium and large pumpkin. While the students might think the biggest pumpkin has the greatest number of seeds, they discover through a little hands-on analysis that it’s actually the smallest one that contains the most seeds. For kids who have math anxiety, this story shows them that mathematical concepts aren’t as scary as they might think they are.


In the Leaves” by Huy Voun Lee

This beautifully illustrated book follows the main character Xiao Ming as he teaches readers how to read 10 different Chinese characters. Unlike the English language, written Chinese uses many characters that represent pictures. Throughout the story, readers discover the beauty and logic behind the Chinese language and develop crucial social-emotional learning skills that will help them communicate with others. Because excelling in the STEM subjects often requires collaboration with other people, some of whom might have different backgrounds and experiences, this story is a helpful reminder for children to not be afraid of different cultures that they have yet to be exposed to.


Counting on Fall” by Lizann Flatt

This charming book invites young readers to journey into the natural world and discover that the numbers, patterns and shapes they learn about in class can be found by observing plants and animals. For teachers who want to use this book in the classroom, a free teachers guide, lesson plan and activities related to this title are available on the publisher’s website.


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