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Cool books to pique your child’s interest in STEM

Not all kids will end up in STEM-related fields, but it’s inevitable that our lives will be affected in several ways by new technologies over the next few decades.

No matter what career they choose to pursue, it’s highly likely they will be exposed to technology through coding, AI, robotics, and the like.

Many kids believe they aren’t good at science or math from an early age, ultimately resulting in them steering clear of the subjects.

But it could just be the case that they haven’t been introduced to STEM subjects in interesting ways so they think they are boring or difficult to tackle.

The truth is, when framed correctly, children with all sorts of interests could find STEM subjects relatable and fascinating.

Even if they don’t end up pursuing a STEM field, there’s no running away from these subjects in school and often times, university too.

Here are some cool books that do the job in making STEM fun for children aged 16-years and younger:

Iggy Peck, Architect

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Front cover of this much-loved children’s book, Iggy Peck, Architect Source: Abrams Books

What better way to learn about architecture than through a fun-filled, inspiring story about a quirky kid who is passionate about building things, much to his teacher’s chagrin?

Authored by Andrea Beaty, recipient of the prestigious Barbara Karlin Honor Grant for picture-book writing from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and illustrated by award-winning illustrator David Roberts, kids are sure to love this whimsical story with rhyming text.

An Amazon review reads, “I love this book so much. It’s a great story, in a fun-to-read rhyme scheme, with absolutely fantastic illustrations. I’d recommend it to anybody who is reading aloud to a kid, and would recommend the author and illustrator’s other book, Rosie Revere: Engineer, even more strongly. These are must-haves for your kid’s library!”

Peg + Cat: The Pizza Problem

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Pizza math! Source: Amazon

The title sounds cute enough to attract the targeted readers aged 3-7. The book is based on characters from the award-winning animated series Peg + Cat, authored by Jennifer Oxley and Billy Aronson.

This picture book entails the adventures of Peg and Cat at their Pizza Place as they figure out how exactly to half a pizza pie when they don’t know what half is, among other challenges, teaching kids about basic math in a lighthearted, playful manner.

One Amazon reviewer wrote, “My kids love Peg + Cat. This book has a great combination of humor and learning Math with shapes. Helps my boys thinking process immensely.”

The Most Magnificient Thing

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This book reminds girls that they can be amazing inventors. Source: Kidscanpress.com

We live in a world where it is imperative to encourage girls not only to pursue STEM, but to persevere in a largely male-dominated field.

Girls with an interest in STEM will probably find this book, written and illustrated by award-winning author Ashley Spires, very relatable.

It chronicles the story of a girl and her best friend, a dog, who has a bright idea to make the most magnificent thing, but after multiple failed attempts to execute it, gives up.

Eventually, with a little help from her doggo friend, she manages to complete her project, showing girls that with a little creativity, enthusiasm and perseverance, anything is possible, and they too can become brilliant inventors.

It receives glowing reviews on Amazon, such as the following:

“This story was so moving. The message was lost on younger students (PreK, K, 1st), but the ones who were a little older or more mature really understood the message that you don’t have to be perfect or do everything perfectly to somehow make all the right pieces end up in just the right spot. It was uplifting to remember that it’s okay to let things go sometimes, and the world will continue to support you somehow.”

Maker Lab

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Need a science project idea? You’ll find a super cool one here. Source: Penguin Random House

Research shows that kids should be reading non-fiction just as much as fiction, as while it’s great to let their imagination run loose with fictional stories, non-fiction also has its benefits.

This non-fiction book by Jack Cholloner for kids will inspire them to come up with cool and safe creations as technology plays a bigger role in education every day, and many students have Makerspaces and 3D printers at school.

According to the website, “Requiring only household materials, young makers can build an exploding volcano, race balloon rocket cars, construct a lemon battery, make sticky slime, and more.

“Photographs and facts carefully detail the “why” and “how” of each experiment using real-world examples to provide context so kids can gain a deeper understanding of the scientific principles applied.”

We’re pretty sure parents will find this book handy when they need to help their kids come up with a project for a science fair, or as a fun way to fill a rainy afternoon.

We made a portable camo boom box this week at Dad Camp! Loving the Smithsonian Maker Lab book. @APSMcKCardinals @APSGifted pic.twitter.com/LPRYm1GDsz

— Kevin Trainor, NBCT (@McK_Trainor) August 1, 2017

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