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7 Books to Celebrate Women and Girls in STEM

Want to inspire a special girl in your life with an interest in science? Are you looking for fun, exciting, girl-centered books about STEM topics? In honor of the International Day of Women in Science, celebrated each year on February 11, we’ve compiled a list of action-packed adventure stories, amazing biographies, and fact-packed science guides for you to explore. 

 

FOR YOUR KIDS:

What would it be like to make friends with a star, millions and millions of miles away? This charming, heartfelt picture book by Stephanie Lucianovic tells the story of a little girl who sees a dying star known as a supernova in a distant corner of the sky. She feels sorry for it, and adopts it as a friend. This new, special friendship ends up shaping the lives of both the girl, and the star, in many unique ways in the years that follow. 

Katherine Johnson’s work was integral to the NASA missions of the 1960s, and her life and work were the inspiration for the film Hidden Figures. In an era when Black people were not afforded the same opportunities as white people, and women were not afforded the same opportunities as men, Johnson worked hard to prove herself as a mathematician. As a “computer” at Langley in the 1950s and 1960s, Johnson made the calculations that determined a safe flight path for each space mission, including the Apollo 11 mission to the moon. 

This amazing, gripping biography is a good introduction for young readers to the events of the space race, and the historical background leading up to the civil rights movement. 

Jamison’s illustrations include wonderful details such as diagrams of angles and parabolas subtly worked in. 

This book tells the story of young Sophie Germain, who in late eighteenth and early nineteenth century Paris bewildered her family and all of society by deciding to study math. Her discoveries ended up turning the world of mathematics completely upside down, and influence architecture and engineering to this very day. The reader joins Sophie as she encounters many obstacles – from parents who try to keep her from studying at night, to professors who refuse to read a woman’s work – as she enters a grand contest to solve what everyone thinks is an unsolvable math problem. Everyone, that is, except Sophie.

Bardoe’s book is a fun, fascinating history lesson and math lesson all in one. McClintock’s vibrant illustrations fill the book with the energy of swooping, swirling numbers and dancing sand patterns. 

There’s a lot of talk about STEM: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. But when you add art to the mix, you get STEAM: an amazing, fascinating place where the sciences and the arts come together. Georgia wants to study science from the deep sea to outer space, but she’s an outlier in a family full of artists. She wants to come up with her own original science experiment, but she doesn’t think her family can help her. Is it possible to study science and art at the same time? This amazing book with beautiful, colorful illustrations will take young readers on a journey to find out. 

Meet Charlotte: “Mama’s little genius,” “Daddy’s little smarty-pants,” a little girl who is a whiz with anything to do with computers and technology. With her faithful dog Bluetooth at her side, Charlotte can solve any tech-related problem in front of her, like fixing the computer or the TV. But Charlotte is at a loss when her well-meaning parents give her a most confusing object to play with: a doll. She has absolutely no clue what to do with it at first, but as she takes a closer look, she comes up with some amazing new ideas of what she can do with the doll. Young readers will love this silly, inventive tale with McCloskey’s madcap illustrations.

 

TO SHARE: 

Sarah Foster founded STEM Like a Girl, a series of fun, exciting science workshops for girls and their families, to encourage more girls and young women to take an interest in science. With this book, you and your special girl can have your very own STEM workshop at home. There are 15 exciting experiments to try out, like building a bottle raft or an air cannon. The book also includes Q&As with real-life girls who talk about their own interest in STEM projects.

To many kids – and many adults – the Periodic Table of the Elements may look like a big, mysterious chart of numbers. This photo-filled, easy-to-understand guide from Theodore Gray goes through each element, explains what each one is, and what it has been used for throughout history. The back of the book contains pullout element stickers so kids can start putting together their own collection of elements.