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Children’s Books that Spark Young Scientists’ Curiosity and Inquiry

Jan 22, 2021    |   Children’s BooksSTEM Learning

Young children love asking questions. That sense of inquiry and curiosity is a valuable learning skill that can form the foundation for enjoyable lifelong learning. This is true of all subjects, but is a particular area of focus in STEM learning. STEM, an acronym that stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, encourages inquiry and exploration.

Winter is a great time to revisit and refresh your library, by adding a few new books that include ideas and stories that inspire a child’s STEM learning.

Below we share a few of our favorite books for very young scientists. The books below can be read during in-person or virtual learning to empower young children to ask questions, develop theories, and test their ideas with experiments.

Ada Twist, Scientist

Written by Andrea Beaty and illustrated by David Roberts, this children’s book has become a staple in many early learning classrooms. The story follows a young girl who has a lot of questions about the world around her. She is curious and perseveres even when her experiments do not go as planned. This story is a celebration of girls in STEM that will be appreciated by all young learners. If you and your students enjoy this story, you might also want to check out other books by the same author and illustrator: Iggy Peck, Architect and Rosie Revere, Engineer.

ABC Engineering

This children’s book, by Dr. Natoshia Anderson MEd, shares interesting words and concepts related to engineering for each letter of the alphabet. With colorful illustrations and minimal text, this book is great for young readers who have an interest in building and engineering. The book is adaptable for different ages, because it includes basic ABCs for younger children, while also introducing more complex words such as aqueduct, robotics, lever, and fuse for preschoolers and children in pre-k with an interest in building, design, and understanding how things work.

On the Launch Pad: A Counting Book About Rockets

3…2…1…blastoff! In this book, written by Michael Dahl and illustrated by Derrick Alderman and Denise Shea, children will learn about all the things that happen on the launchpad, right before a rocket takes off. The story incorporates a variety of foundational STEM concepts, including basic math skills in counting and 1:1 correspondence, as well as basic elements of science, including a look at outer space and the work of astronauts and engineers.

Dream Big, Little Scientists: A Bedtime Book

This book, written by Michelle Schaub and illustrated by Alice Potter, offers a simplified introduction to various disciplines of science in colorful pictures and simple, rhyming text. Each story shares the achievements of a diverse group of famous scientists in a way that is approachable and interesting for young readers. This story is great for a variety of early learning ages. Younger preschoolers will enjoy the simple stories and rhyming text, while older children might enjoy diving deeper into the work of each scientist and exploring some of the hidden images throughout the story.

I See Myself

This book, by Vicki Cobb, explores the concept of reflections by exploring the different ways that children might see their reflection — in a mirror, a shiny doorknob, or a puddle. The book uses relevant and easy to understand examples to help children learn about light and how reflections work. The concepts in this book will lead to interesting conversations and observations with young children, as they learn more about a fascinating scientific topic. If the children enjoy this book, they might also enjoy some of Vicki Cobb’s other stories: I Fall Down, I Get Wet, and I Face the Wind.

More to Explore

If you are looking for more information and ideas related to STEM learning, check out some of our previous articles…

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