STEM literacy links
With our book recommendations, we want to help you spark a conversation that leads children to discover STEM in their everyday lives. Have the courage to go beyond the obvious STEM connections and embrace all questions that may come out of your discussion with the children.
Gerda Muller tells the Goldilocks story slightly differently with the porridge in the two bigger bowls both being too hot and the smallest just right. Which version makes sense? Try it out with the children! Serve hot porridge in different-sized bowls and check and compare the temperature as it cools. This can easily lead to further investigations…
This book is all about experiencing with all your senses and being aware of the here and now. Ask the children if they have gone for a walk when it was dark outside. How did it feel? What did they hear? Does the night air smell differently? Did they spot any nocturnal animals? Use this story to go outdoors to explore the surroundings and encourage families to go on adventure walks.
‘Big rain coming’ is a lyrical story about waiting for the rain. Old Stephen wisely predicts throughout the book that rain is coming.
Predictions can serve as hypotheses during scientific research. What do the children already know about rain and what stories shape their understanding? What do animals and people do when there is no water? What could they make or do to help save water?
This little satire of a child wanting healthy food while the parents are trying to coax him into eating junk (literally!), will easily draw the children into a discussion of healthy food and human and animal eating habits. What do parents usually want their children to eat? How often do you need to try something new before you like it? Why are vegetables good for you? What do goats really eat? What are omnivores? Does anyone really eat rubbish?
When reading this story, invite your children to sit in a circle to enjoy every page, and use each one as an invitation to spark different paths of inquiry. Children might want to research more about the specific characteristics and habits of birds, or discover and observe different colours in the natural world. Try experimenting using different materials to create your own depiction of the book and explore how colours are formed.
Uno’s story is a wonderful starting point for discussing a number of important issues and concepts with the children, such as numbers and their growth, cause and effect, ethics and action, and personal and communal responsibility for the environment with the children.
The book ‘The incredible freedom machines’ takes the reader to a dusty town somewhere in Australia to a young girl that watches others using so-called freedom machines. She dreams about building her very own freedom machine but realises it takes time, effort, and determination to learn how to use it.
Too often, we meet the attitudes of ‘I’m not good at STEM’, ‘I hated Math at school’ and ‘I just don’t have a sciencey brain’. This book is a great conversation starter for resilience, overcoming adversity and breaking out of the mould.
Take this opportunity to travel the world with the children, inspecting different kinds of wonderful bridges, each fulfilling a particular purpose, constructed using different methods and materials and located in a variety of settings.
Maya’s friend Rafael can’t believe his eyes when he visits her before racing day. The cart doesn’t look like anything he has ever seen before. Maya followed her own imagination instead of the kit’s instructions in her attempt to fly like the bird she observed. It comes as no surprise that Maya’s flying go-cart wins the race.