Hot STEAM Titles

If your library works with students, you are probably familiar with STEM—or STEAM—education. Science, Technology, Engineering, (Art) and Math puts the STE(A)M in education. While educators in the United States have been bemoaning students’ declines in the hard sciences for decades, adding art to the equation is a relatively new concept.

Why art? Engineers who can quickly sketch out an idea are better able to communicate it. Students who use craft materials to build skyscrapers and bridges are better able to grasp the principles of the physics, even before they understand p=mv. In short, art education makes for more well-rounded students and thinkers.

Comprehensive STEAM education features project-based teaching to foster skills we use in life—like creativity, problem solving, and collaboration—to cement scientific concepts. For older students, STEAM education opens up possibilities to enter careers like coding, designing, art direction, science, or engineering.

At the library, programs for children and teens use 3-D printers, coding games, littleBits droids, recording equipment, virtual reality goggles, and a vast array of other creative ideas and products to engage young people in design-based thinking. These programs are both fun and fulfill the library’s mission of fostering lifelong learning.

In response to schools’ additional focus on the arts and technology, the publishing world has flooded the children’s book market with books about coding, makerspaces, STEAM careers, and biographies about key figures in this arena. They have also introduced a much wider range of titles in crafts, engineering, inventing, and architecture. While it is wonderful to have the additional selections, it can be very time-consuming to choose which titles best suit your collection.

For the past several years, Brodart has compiled a list of recommended STEAM titles for ages 3-14. Some titles are chosen based on positive reviews from journals such as Booklist and School Library Journal. Others come from popular publishers like DK and Make Magazine. A new list of STEAM biographies is also available.