Our Favorite STEM Books for Students and Teachers

By Kitty Taylor on January 11, 2024

The new year brings new resolutions. For many students, teachers, and parents, an achievable and important resolution is to read more books—and some of those books might just focus on our favorite STEM subjects!

Books about STEM can provide a helpful bridge to students who are struggling with or intimidated by STEM subjects. Spanning both fiction and nonfiction topics, these books can spark new ways of thinking and inspire students to embrace the power of a STEM identity both inside and outside the classroom.

Below, we’ve gathered our favorite STEM books into one reading list, ready for use in the classroom and beyond.

Group of four kindergarten age students gathered around a teacher who is reading a picture book. Three students are raising their hands.

Best STEM Books for Students Pre-K to First Grade

Count on Me by Miguel Tanco

When it comes to learning STEM, students can benefit from learning that people see the world and problems differently. Count on Me does just that by sharing the story of a young girl who sees the world through math and all of its beauty.

Give Me Half! by Stuart J. Murphy

Give Me Half! tells the story of a young set of siblings who must share a pizza. They explore the basics of fractions through concrete examples and lively illustrations.

When I’m an Astronaut by Samantha Pillay

STEM can take students to the stars and beyond—in this case, literally! When I’m an Astronaut helps young readers understand what a career in space travel could look like. This STEM book brings the intricate details of space travel and the possibilities provided by STEM careers to elementary school students.

Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty

Endlessly curious Ada Twist embarks on adventures and escapades as she learns the power of thinking her way through difficult problems. This book is a great opportunity to inspire a passion for problem-solving, scientific thinking, and careers in STEM. And if you like following Ada’s journeys, be sure to check out Rosie Revere, Engineer, also by Andrea Beaty.

Blips on a Screen by Kate Hannigan

Blips on a Screen tells the inspiring true story of Ralph Baer, a refugee turned inventor who created video games. This STEM book will certainly capture the attention of any students who love to play video games!

Friends Beyond Measure by Lalena Fisher

If you’re looking for a book that makes math a little more approachable for elementary students, look no further than Friends Beyond Measure. The story follows friends Ana and Harwin as they prepare for a big change, accompanied by delightful charts and diagrams that encourage readers to engage with mathematical concepts.

What Do You Do with a Problem? by Kobi Yamada

This story by Koni Yamada is great for students who are feeling challenged or overwhelmed by school. What Do You Do with a Problem? follows a child who ignores a growing problem until he can muster the courage to face it and embrace the possibilities of overcoming it. This type of persistence can be inspirational to young students as they begin to tackle STEM projects and problems.

Motion: Push and Pull, Fast and Slow by Darlene Stille

Most students have likely taken part in or watched a soccer game, but have they ever thought about the forces at work when a soccer ball is kicked? This book breaks down the basic forces at work when it comes to the motion of ourselves and the world around us, including soccer balls.

A female teacher crouched down beside a young fourth grade student's desk. The teacher points to a spot on an open book and both are smiling.

Best STEM Books for Students Second Grade to Fifth Grade

Energy: Physical Science for Kids by Andi Diehn

Perfect for the kid who’s always on the move, this nonfiction STEM picture book explains what powers the world around us, bringing basic physics to young readers. The book uses clear vocabulary and integrates easy science experiments, connecting the concepts on the page to the real world that exists outside the classroom.

National Geographic Kids

For many grown-ups, the yellow border of iconic National Geographic magazines is the stuff of nostalgia. Today, National Geographic publishes books and magazines for students on a huge range of subjects, with many focused on exciting STEM concepts like the planets and weather.

How to Explain Coding to a Grown-Up by Ruth Spiro

This cheeky STEM book teaches young readers the basics of coding, introducing them to the field of computer science in a way that can inspire them to pursue STEM both inside and outside of the classroom.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer

William Kamkwamba tells his true story of overcoming the odds and building a windmill when his town desperately needed solutions for a drought. This book brings a tangible narrative to how STEM can impact the community and the world around students. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is a favorite book of Kid Spark Education VP of Client Support Christine Norris, who highly recommends the book and its accompanying movie for a rainy day.

Nick and Tesla and the High-Voltage Danger Lab by Bob Pflugfelder

This STEM book follows two science-loving siblings, Nick and Tesla, as they go to live with their Uncle Newt, an inventor who creates unique gadgets for the government. This book includes a unique feature: instructions and blueprints for five projects to complete alongside the characters!

STEM Books for Middle School Students

Ruby Goldberg’s Bright Idea by Anna Humphrey

Follow along with ten-year-old Ruby Goldberg as she competes for the top prize in her school science fair! Young inventors will appreciate adding this delightful story to their STEM reading list.

Cog by Greg van Eekhout

For a unique take on a STEM book, check out Cog. The book follows five robots as they find their places in the world and go on an unforgettable journey.

Captivating Stories for Curious Kids by Chris Munoz

For students who love fun facts, we recommend Captivating Stories for Curious Kids, a collection of nonfiction short stories detailing the incredible ways science has impacted the world. Students will love learning about the immortal jellyfish and the invention of popsicles!

Bringing Down the Mouse by Ben Mezrich

Math whiz Charlie Lewis goes on a high-octane adventure to game his way to winning the grand prize at the world’s biggest theme park. Charlie puts his math skills to use on his journey, which can inspire more excitement for readers about their own math lessons.

Emmy in the Key of Code by Aimee Lucindo

This story follows a young student, Emmy, as she attends a new school and takes her first coding class. Emmy builds connections with a new friend, pursues her love of music, and faces unexpected obstacles that many middle school students will likely relate to.

Young female educator standing in a library holding an open book. She is smiling and looking to the side.

STEM Education Books for Teachers

Launch: Using Design Thinking to Boost Creativity and Bring Out the Maker in Every Student by John Spencer and A.J. Juliani

This book was written by two educators to show how they have embraced design thinking to reinvigorate problem-solving in their classrooms. Launch is a great read for any educator facing limited resources or other obstacles that can leave them feeling overwhelmed and in need of a new approach to inspiring the next generation of makers, inventors, and creators.

STEM in the Primary Curriculum by Helen Caldwell and Sue Pope

This book is a must for any educator’s STEM reading list, as it breaks down some of the most important concepts when it comes to teaching STEM subjects, developing STEM identity in students, and implementing successful strategies into the curriculum.

Invent to Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom by Sylvia Libow Martinez and Gary S. Stager

Invent to Learn embraces the idea that children are natural tinkerers, and by encouraging this curiosity into the classroom, teachers can build academic skills in STEM courses and beyond. By leaning into the maker movement, this book can help teachers make STEM subjects a more exciting aspect of the curriculum, with project ideas for every classroom budget.

Discover Kid Spark’s STEM Programs for Your Classroom

At Kid Spark Education, we know how vital it is for the next generation of students to gain a comprehensive STEM education. This STEM reading list can supplement your classroom lessons and give students an opportunity to explore STEM concepts on their own time—but a strong STEM curriculum is essential for success.

If you’re looking for a complete STEM program for your classroom, Kid Spark kits include a science-backed curriculum that meets NGSS requirements, reusable engineering and robotic tools, complete lesson plans, and educator tools such as online training, grading rubrics, and step-by-step instructions.

To get started, explore our curriculum library, or contact our team today to learn more about our programs.

Topics: Professional Development, Elementary STEM Education, middle school stem, reading

Kitty Taylor

Written By Kitty Taylor

Would you like to receive more information about starting a Kid Spark STEM program for your students? 

Go beyond the buzzword with Kid Spark.

At Kid Spark Education, STEM isn't a buzzword: it's a powerful way to nurture students' natural curiosity; build confidence and skills in science, technology, engineering, and math; and foster abilities in collaboration, problem-solving, and communication. You, their teachers, are our most important partner in achieving our mission of preparing all children for a lifetime of learning about science and technology. The Kid Spark Blog is written by educators, for educators to be a resource in your toolbox so you can feel confident and capable in teaching STEM to your elementary students. 

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