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Trends in STEM

9 Teacher-Approved Books to Inspire Your Students

Looking for books that can inspire your students to take risks, follow their curiosity and explore STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects in a hands-on way? Curated by the National Inventors Hall of Fame® education team, the innovation experts responsible for developing our nationally recognized education programs, below is a hand-picked list of book recommendations suitable for a range of grade levels!


Fun Books for Early Learning

  • “Baby Code!” by Sandra Horning. Filled with brightly colored illustrations, this engaging book shows how the simple actions of babies are similar to the basic commands and logic involved in many of the most popular coding languages. Introducing this book at a young age allows educators to present coding concepts in a fun, playful and non-intimidating way. It even can help young learners develop an interest in coding they might pursue as they grow older.
  • “Quantum Physics for Babies” by Chris Ferrie. Written by an expert in the field of physics, this book impressively manages to explain and introduce neutrons, atoms, electrons and protons in ways that are interesting and engaging for young minds. The simple illustrations and engaging language help stimulate interest in math and science, and offer an enjoyable experience for children and adults alike.
  • “ABCs of Science” by Chris Ferrie. This clever book pairs the letters of the alphabet with different scientific terms including “amoeba,” “bond” and “conductor.” In this way, young children have the chance to both develop their language skills and explore many fundamental science concepts and organisms. This book also includes multiple levels of language difficulty and can grow along with children as their reading comprehension evolves.


Great Ideas for Elementary and Middle School

  • “Abby Invents Unbreakable Crayons” by Arlyne Simon. Written by Arlyne Simon, biomedical engineer, patented inventor and 2013 Collegiate Inventors Competition® Graduate Finalist, “Abby Invents Unbreakable Crayons” tells the story of how a girl named Abby decides to invent the world’s first unbreakable crayons. Along the way, she learns how patents allow inventors to protect their creations and introduces readers to how fun STEM can be.
  • “Rosie Revere, Engineer” by Andrea Beaty. Though Rosie Revere has always dreamed of becoming a great engineer, and at night she constructs incredible inventions like hot dog dispensers and helium pants, fear of failure has prevented her from sharing her ideas with the world. Rosie’s perspective changes when her great-great-aunt Rose (Rosie the Riveter) shows her that the only way to fail is to give up! This confidence-building book is one that will help children build their confidence and encourage them to take risks and celebrate the power of creativity.
  • “The Book of Totally Irresponsible Science: 64 Daring Experiments for Young Scientists” by Sean Connolly. Filled with engaging, hands-on activities that demonstrate key scientific principles, this action-packed book shows kids that science can be fun and exciting. Inspired by experiments from some of the world’s greatest thinkers and innovators, including the likes of Aristotle, the Wright brothers and Marie Curie, this book offers a way to spark students’ interest, and ideas for activities to implement in the classroom.


Inspiring Reads for High School

  • “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson. Widely considered to be the definitive biography of Apple co-founder and NIHF Inductee Steve Jobs, this book delivers a candid portrayal of Jobs as he started one of the world’s most important modern companies, responsible for creating products and services that millions of people use each day. Students who read this book are given a detailed portrayal of how Jobs and his co-founders transformed Apple from a business run out of a garage into one of the world’s most valuable companies.
  • “A Unicorn in a World of Donkeys” by Mia Michaels. Using her own story as inspiration, Mia Michaels, judge and choreographer of the TV show “So You Think You Can Dance” and creator of the Broadway musical “Finding Neverland,” encourages readers to embrace the unique parts of themselves. While it isn’t always easy to function in a world that prioritizes the status quo, living as a “unicorn” is not only more fulfilling, but can lead to more authentic experiences and opportunities.
  • “Lightning Strikes: Timeless Lessons in Creativity from the Life and Work of Nikola Tesla” by John F. Wasik. This book explores the life of visionary NIHF Inductee Nikola Tesla, whose ideas and innovations have in recent years become increasingly relevant. Readers will learn how many of Tesla’s ideas in the fields of clean power, robotics and alternating current motors are currently being developed by innovators around the world.


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