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Posted on March 3rd, 2021 in STEM literacy links

Author: Nick Bland | Age: 4+ years

Wolfred standing in lift

When Wolfred takes on a job pushing the buttons in the lift of the hotel at Fancy Pants Tower, he enters a new world. Every evening he writes down all the weird and wonderful things he sees throughout the day, folds these stories into paper planes and sends them to his friends.

From the beginning, there are possible investigations: “It was the warmest of lights on the coldest of nights.” Is it always cold when there is no light? Can a lamp warm you up? How about a torch, a TV screen or a fire? How does Fancy Pants Tower use so much power? What do you use electricity for during the day? If the children are interested in sustainability, you could investigate how the hotel could save electricity. What could the children do to save electricity? Wolfred also creates a rooftop garden: What do the children think of this? Is this a good idea? Would they like to have more plants in, around and on top of buildings?

Wolfred spends most of his time in the lift. Have the children been in a lift? Maybe you could even take them on a little excursion if there’s a public building with a lift nearby. Which animals fit into the lift? How can animals be accommodated that don’t fit? Can a lift really go to the stars and into the sea? Can they build their own lift? What do they need? Would they like to live in a lift?

The book is a treasure trove of opposing pairs worth exploring: warm and cold, light and dark, up and down, big and small, slow and fast, night and day, inside and outside. How would you feel if you were inside all day? What can you do inside that you can’t do outside? What can you do outside that you can’t do inside? Where are you happier?

With our book recommendations, we want to spark an interest in children to discover STEM in their everyday lives. Most books go beyond the obvious STEM connections and can be a great starting point for exploring children’s questions and ideas further.

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