By Kourtney LaFavre
As we all know, writing for children is a powerful opportunity in helping young minds grow and evolve. And incorporating STEM concepts into your stories is one of the ways to do that.
Why Integrate STEM into Children's Books?
STEM subjects play a crucial role in our modern world, and fostering an early interest in these fields can open doors to countless opportunities for young readers. By incorporating STEM into your children's books, you can:
1. Relatable Characters and Settings
Create characters who mirror the interests and backgrounds of your young readers. If your story is set in a futuristic world, make it relatable by incorporating advanced technology that's grounded in reality. Characters can be aspiring scientists, young engineers, or curious explorers, making STEM careers seem attainable and exciting.
2. Weave STEM into the Plot
Integrate STEM concepts organically into the story line. For example, if your characters are on a quest, have them encounter scientific challenges or engineering puzzles that require creative problem-solving. Make the STEM elements an essential part of advancing the plot, so they don't feel forced.
3. Visual Storytelling
If possible, collaborate closely with illustrators to visually represent STEM concepts (or offer helpful illustration notes). Infographics, diagrams, or visually engaging depictions can help clarify complex ideas. The visuals should be age-appropriate and enhance the narrative rather than overwhelming young readers.
4. Relatable Everyday Situations
Show how STEM is relevant in everyday life. Whether it's explaining the science behind a rainbow, the engineering behind a playground, or the technology in a smartphone, relate STEM to experiences children can connect with.
5. Encourage Exploration
Include interactive elements like experiments or activities at the end of your book that align with the STEM concepts in your story. This hands-on approach encourages readers to explore and experiment on their own, reinforcing the learning experience.
*See my post about backmatter here: https://www.childrensbookacademy.com/blogfish/back-matter-at-its-best
Here's some inspiring examples of STEM integration in children's books:
Kourtney is a mom, author, and educator with a BS degree in Childhood Studies and 20+ years experience working with children and families in classrooms and other community programs. As a life-long learner she’s always questioning and watching the world with glittering eyes, on the lookout for beautiful and amazing things. Being a SCBWI member and graduate of Children's Book Academy, helps fuel her passion for quality children's literature. She writes to inform and inspire.
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We are so excited to be mixing things up at CBA, beginning with some delicious additions to the Blogfish. Meet our awesome bloggers!!
Here's our lineup:
1st Mondays begin with awesome Aussie debut author and former student Amanda Lieber who will be focusing on Aussie kidlit.
2nd Mondays will feature super smart Melissa Stoller whose career is taking off with several new books.
3rd Mondays will feature our new blogger coming soon.
4th Mondays features new blogger, the fabulous Brentom Jackson, who has a beautiful approach to blogging.
And 5th Mondays we'll be taking a break