5 STEM Books and Related Lessons Students Will Love

As technology continues to shape our lives, there has never been a better time to encourage students to explore the world of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). One way to pique their interest in STEM subjects is by introducing them to fascinating books that spark curiosity and inspire learning. Here are five STEM-focused books and related lesson ideas that students will absolutely love.

1. The Martian by Andy Weir

In this thrilling novel, astronaut Mark Watney is stranded on Mars after a dust storm separates him from his crew. Using his resourcefulness and knowledge of science, he attempts to survive and eventually communicate with Earth.

Lesson Idea: To complement the book’s theme, have students participate in a Mars survival project. Allow them to work in groups, research the Martian environment, and design innovative solutions for food production, water sourcing, and shelter construction on Mars.

2. Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly

Hidden Figures chronicles the untold story of African American women mathematicians known as “human computers” who played critical roles in the early days of NASA during the Space Race.

Lesson Idea: Educate students about the challenges these women faced to succeed in a male-dominated field. Then encourage students to research other unsung heroes in STEM fields and present their findings through oral presentations or multimedia projects.

3. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

This book tells the story of Henrietta Lacks, whose cancer cells were taken without her knowledge in 1951 and have been used since then for groundbreaking scientific research.

Lesson Idea: Teach students about cell biology by examining the HeLa cells’ extraordinary properties. Conduct a class debate to discuss bioethical issues surrounding consent for medical research using patient samples.

4. The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee

This fascinating read offers an in-depth exploration of the history of genetics, delving into the science that has transformed our understanding of heredity and its impact on human existence.

Lesson Idea: Organize a lesson where students learn about the fundamentals of genetics, from Mendel’s laws to our current understanding of DNA and inheritance. Create a hands-on activity for students to build a DNA model and map genetic traits through various generations within a family.

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

This inspiring memoir recounts the story of William Kamkwambah, a Malawian teenager who built a windmill from scrap materials to power his family’s home amid an extreme drought.

Lesson Idea: Engage students in evaluating sustainable energy alternatives by studying wind turbine technology. Encourage them to design their own small-scale wind turbines using simple materials, and test their efficiency in generating electricity.

These captivating books are perfect starting points for thought-provoking lessons that will inspire students’ passion for STEM subjects. By connecting literature with real-world applications, educators can help create meaningful learning experiences that empower tomorrow’s innovators and changemakers.