6 Books to Grow Your Child’s STEM Skills This Spring
As the snow melts, the days stretch longer and nature wakes up from its wintery nap, take some time to help your child understand the amazing changes that happen when springtime rolls around. Reading comes with many benefits and is a great way to spend family time. To help you hit your spring reading goals, the National Inventors Hall of Fame® has put together a list of six fun STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) books that will help your child grow this season!
“Drop: An Adventure Through the Water Cycle” by Emily Kate Moon
To help your child understand the water cycle with kid-friendly science, introduce them to Drop. Drop is made of water, and she takes children on a journey across time, around the world, and through the sky as she goes through the ins and outs of the water cycle. The story explains that even in the time of the dinosaurs, water has played a key role in sustaining life on Earth and continues to do so within us today! With colorful illustrations and bits of humor sprinkled throughout, this book will help your child soak up information on water!
“Buzzing with Questions: The Inquisitive Mind of Charles Henry Turner” by Janice N. Harrington
The story of Charles Henry Turner, the first Black entomologist (a scientist who studies insects), allows children to explore the questions that buzzed in Turner’s mind throughout his life as he uncovered mysteries in the world of bugs. Despite the racial prejudice he faced, Turner let his curiosity take him all the way to college and beyond! All the time, he continued reading, experimenting and observing – never giving up on his passion for science and his quest for knowledge. This story will introduce your child to important concepts like persistence and inspire them to keep asking questions!
“The Bug Girl: A True Story” by Sophia Spencer and Margaret McNamara
Sometimes, we have unique interests that might not excite everyone else around us — but that doesn’t make these interests any less special! In this book, Sophia Spencer tells us how she learned this lesson in elementary school, when other children gave her a hard time for sharing her love and knowledge of insects. Her mom, knowing that there’s a community of bug lovers who would share Spencer’s enthusiasm, reaches out to an entomological society to find a pen pal for her daughter. Soon, Spencer has a whole group of women scientists encouraging her and empowering her to once again share her love of bugs with others. This beautifully illustrated story reminds us to stay true to our passions, that there are communities of support to help us along the way and that bugs are really cool!
“What’s Inside a Flower? And Other Questions About Science & Nature” by Rachel Ignotofsky
New York Times bestseller Rachel Ignotofsky invites children to ask exploratory questions about nature in “What’s Inside a Flower?” Filled with informative and colorful illustrations and clear labels, this book takes readers from seed to bloom and beyond as it explains the necessary factors for flowers to grow. Children learn that each part of a flower holds an important job and that plants are vital to the planet. After reading this story, don’t be surprised if your child wants to go outside and explore the plants, insects and environment outside your home!
“Busy Spring: Nature Wakes Up” by Sean Taylor and Alex Morss
After a drowsy winter, nature begins to stir once again in the spring. This picture book invites children to follow along with two siblings and their father through their backyard to uncover all the ways in which spring has touched the environment around them. From creatures waking up from a long, chilly winter to plants responding to the warm sun, the world around the siblings responds to the changing of the seasons. Co-authors Taylor and Morss, an ecologist and educator, bring to life the science behind spring in a way that will get children excited to look for signs of the season in their own little corner of the world!
“Dr. Wangari Maathai Plants a Forest” by Rebel Girls®
For slightly more advanced readers, this chapter book highlights the life and impact of the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize – activist and environmental scientist Wangari Maathai. The book describes Maathai’s early life in the lush landscapes of rural Kenya. After going away to school, she realizes the environment around her home has been changed and overworked, causing people to go hungry. She learns through her studies that planting a forest of trees is the solution to many of these dangerous problems, and she uses her voice to protect the environment and advocate for change. This book inspires readers to take steps to help care for the planet and even includes educational activities to try after finishing the story.
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