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Goldie’s Super STEMy Reading List for Budding Scientists, Inventors, and Engineers

That extra family time around the holidays is magical, but can prove exhausting – how do you fill every hour of the day with something fun and engaging? What toy, game, or activity provides a never-ending supply of exciting content? And how could it possibly appeal to everyone?

We’ve got a fun concept for you: They’re called books!

Okay, you’ve definitely heard of them. Many kids are reading in multiple formats these days – from paperbacks to e-books, we’re not picky. Independent reading at an early age has a whole host of benefits, and because Goldie loves herself a good book, she wanted to share some of her favorite STEM-centric stories for your next stop at the bookstore or library!

 

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1. Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine

Recommended for grades K and up

Ada Lovelace is the poet Lord Byron’s daughter, but that isn’t even her biggest claim to fame. She’s the mother of modern programming, and the STEM world just celebrated her 200th birthday on December 9th. In this short non-fiction book, readers learn about Ada’s love of all things math and science as well as her first encounter with early computing technology.

 

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2. Oh No!: Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World

Recommended for grades K – 2

We all have to learn from our mistakes, and some mistakes are bigger than others. When the main character in this story builds a robot, she wins first place in her science fair… and then has to stop her creation from destroying her city. Lessons in humility and problem solving are abound in this story, and the comic book-esque illustrations make it a really fun, action-packed read!

 

rosierevere3. Rosie Revere, Engineer

Recommended for grades K – 2

Rosie Revere is a curious little girl who loves to build, but she’s really more than that: to little girls hearing her story, she’s a superhero! Discouraged over and over by small failures, Rosie is given a big boost of confidence when her Aunt Rose tells her that the only true failure is giving up. She’s faced with her hardest challenge yet: constructing a flying machine, and boy does Rosie soar!

 

who Says women can't4. Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors?: The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell

Recommended for grades K – 2

Elizabeth Blackwell never ever ever let someone tell her no. Never. After being rejected or simply ignored by 29 medical colleges, she was accepted into a program in upstate New York, where she would later graduate at the head of her class. This picture book touches upon the roles of women in the time (the mid-19th century), and positions Elizabeth as exactly what she was: a pioneer, and a believer in true equality.

61o3BaBXezL5. Pop!: The Invention of Bubble Gum

Recommended for grades K – 2 or 3

Who doesn’t love bubble gum? Everyone from the ancient Greeks to Native Americans have chewed something like gum – but it wasn’t always the sweet and sticky mess it is today. The version we know and love was invented in Philadelphia in 1928. This picture book reveals how bubblegum’s inventor, Walter Diemer, persevered through hundreds of taste tests and failures before crafting just the right concoction.

180489766. Ruby Goldberg’s Bright Idea

Recommended for grades 3 – 5

We know a little something about Rube Goldberg machines, so this book really tickles our fancy. Young Ruby Goldberg takes on a Rube Goldberg machine of her own, hoping to cheer up her Grandpa with her silly contraption. But when she spends all her time gunning for that first prize in the science fair… will she lose sight of the other important things in life, like her friends and family? This story features a relatable character with problems that kids face every day, and Ruby’s ability to see past herself and into the hearts of others creates an imaginative world where science, school, and family come together.

 

516rU-34LpL7. Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women

Recommended for grades 5 – 7

Inventors: they’re just like us! This book features female inventors who have built the world that we know today. From the chocolate chip cookie to the windshield wiper blade, these stories of invention and innovation gives girls access to what can feel “too hard” or “really complicated.” Toward the end, young female inventors are introduced, inspiring young readers to do the same!

 

Whoa! Is your little one a speed reader? Check out these crowdsourced lists of awesome books for kiddos, young and old!

What’s your little engineer reading right now? Leave us a comment so we can add it to our next list!

  1. I’m all for promoting STEM subjects but is there a reason 5 out of 6 of these books are aimed at girls? We need to make the subjects more appealing to all children to encourage equality, not try to shut boys out. I have 2 science degrees and am a woman – not because someone thought I should be targeted but because someone bothered to make science interesting and relevant, not female!

  2. I understand why you think these are exclusively aimed at girls only, that mentality is part of the problem. A couple titles have the words “women/girl” but the others just have names. Stories are stories are stories, I think it is super important for boys/men to see these books featuring women/girls and relate to the story. (Just as girls and women have for decades in lit and movies exclusively featuring males) It’s just a matter of showcasing perspective, and its still extremely important because women and girls numbers in stem fields of study and work are staggeringly low. Books with relatable content will drive interest.

  3. What a great concept. I am 64 having built for years I am excited to see a block system very much for girls I always try new building toys but often disappointed. This set is unique but I had a small problem two of the short axels would not stay attached is this normal? Please let me know. I would love to help your team, I am young girl at heart but think I can build with the best. Legos since I was 7 and still build and buy.

  4. I appreciate the focus on empowering girls in this article and this company. After my daughter went though her ‘wait for the prince to save me’ phase, my wife and I immediately seeked out everything that would empower her. Just look at how marvel and Disney have avoided the women main characters in toys for the Avengers and Star Wars franchise it quickly become apparent that a girls club of awesomeness is needed. My daughter looks at the marvel toys and says ‘where’s black widow? How can they leave her out? ‘. Sooooo… Rant done, I would suggest a few graphic novel type books beyond the great books above. Giants beware and dragons beware is great, focuses on girl hero, her little brother and friend. Also Princeless, and Zita the space girl.

  5. Thank you for including Rosie Revere, Engineer in this great list! Such an honor.

    There are so many fantastic books to encourage kids in STEM. Or, STEMy books as you say. Love that, btw.

    There are some astonishingly beautiful books out there that make STEM accessible to kids. Here are a few of my faves.

    On a Beam of Light
    The Most Magnificent Thing
    Infinity & Me
    Me . . . Jane
    The Boy who Loved Math
    I, Humanity
    11 Experiments that Failed.

    I’m looking forward to this book which comes out fall 2016: The Story of Ada Lovelace, the World’s First Computer Programmer by Fiona Robinson. The art I’ve seen so far is glorious.

    I agree with the person who posted above that stories are stories are stories. It is great to see so many new titles with girl protagonists because they can set an example for girls who might not otherwise consider STEM. However, these books are great stories that will connect with all kids. They are not just for girls any more than books about boys are only for boys. It is a wonderful time for picture books!

    Thanks again for including Rosie Revere, Engineer. You made my day!

    Andrea Beaty

    Author of ROSIE REVERE, ENGINEER, IGGY PECK, ARCHITECT and ADA TWIST, SCIENTIST (Fall 2016)

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