It’s August and the countdown to school has started. For many students and teachers, going to school may look a little different this year. Some students may be learning in the classroom, while others learn at home. And some students may be doing a little bit of both. No matter where you’re learning, you can use these great books to spark a lasting interest in science and STEM.
The books we’re highlighting this month are all STEM activity books. They are a great starting point for different science activities and discussions in the classroom and at home.
Do your students know about scientist and inventor Temple Grandin? In this book, kids can learn from a master inventor by reading her personal stories and trying a few of the book’s 25 hands-on projects. Throughout the book, Grandin shows readers what it’s like to see the world through an inventor’s eyes, questioning and testing how the world works. You could have kids do a few of these projects and then present their results, either in person or in a virtual classroom. You can even have students think like Grandin and come up with their own project or invention!
Want to learn a little be more about Temple Grandin? Take a look at this Colorado State University article about Temple Grandin’s life.
If you want your students or kids to learn about engineering – try this fantastic book:
This book has activities to explore important principles of engineering, such as forces and motion; liquids and reactions; shapes and structures; and light and sound. You can explore gravity by building a working model of a tower crane. You can study the range of colors in light by building a spectroscope. Maybe assign a different project to small groups of students. Have them demonstrate their project to the class. How does it work? What engineering principle(s) does it show? How is this principle used by scientists in the real world?
Take a Walk Through the Jungle
For younger kids, Rainforests is a great activity book that teaches kids about tropical and temperate forests and how we can help preserve them.
The book also has lots of information about the creatures of the rainforest. The book begins with several chapters about the layers of the rainforest – the forest floor, the understory, the canopy, and the top layer. Perhaps have each kid choose an animal or plant that lives in the rainforest and write a few sentences about it and how it survives in the rainforest.
Kids will learn about the rainforest in different parts of the world. Try some of the book’s activities such as creating a jungle journal in Africa or communicating with message sticks in the South Asian and Malaysian rainforest. Ask the kids: How are the rainforests in different parts of the world similar? How are they different? How can we work together to conserve and protect them?
Have fun with all of the hands-on STEM and science activities in these books! It’s a great way to bring science into your classroom – no matter where it is this year!
Carla Mooney loves to explore the world around us and discover the details about how it works. An award-winning author of numerous nonfiction science books for kids and teens, she hopes to spark a healthy curiosity and love of science in today’s young people. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, three kids, and dog. When not writing, she can often be spotted at a hockey rink for one of her kids’ games. Find her at http://www.carlamooney.com, on Facebook @carlamooneyauthor, or on Twitter @carlawrites.