Archive: Book Beat Live! The 2023 Outstanding STEM Books List: Ignite Students’ Interest in Science and Engineering! What’s on your Holiday Gift List? December 13, 2022

How do we prepare 21st-century kids for challenges and jobs that we currently cannot even describe? The Best STEM Books can help by celebrating convergent and divergent thinking, analysis and creativity, persistence, and the sheer joy of figuring things out.

STEM books offer endless opportunities for engaged learning. They invite students to see the world differently and to think in new ways about what they observe. The 2023 Outstanding STEM Books List features titles that prompt readers to examine the “thinking stance” of characters—not to simply examine their actions and the results. Best STEM Books winners explore problems and possible solutions in the scientific world, and where applicable, in the protagonists’ lives. Instead of focusing on specific content, the Best STEM Books emphasize real-world issues that cross disciplinary boundaries.

Teachers can integrate these books into sensemaking lessons and units. Parents, grandparents, and other caregivers can involve even the very youngest children in the process of STEM thinking.

Engaging students of all ages with STEM books can support students as they make sense of their world, contribute to their scientific literacy, and spark their interest in STEM careers. Students still need to be given opportunities to use these trade books, along with investigations of real-world phenomena through the sensemaking process.

According to the A Framework for K–12 Science Education, “any education in science and engineering needs to develop students’ ability to read and produce domain-specific text. As such, every science or engineering lesson is in part a language lesson, particularly reading and producing the genres of texts that are intrinsic to science and engineering.” (NRC Framework 2012, p. 76)  

In this session, Christine Royce, author of the Teaching Through Trade Books column in Science and Children and co-author of Teaching Science Through Trade Books; Wendy Binder, NSTA Program Director in STEM Professional Learning; and Emily Brady, NSTA Director of Publishing Services will discuss the 2023 Outstanding STEM Books and share the ways literature can be used within science/STEM lessons and can help develop the practices of science and engineering. Takeaways will include the following:

  • Extending the making connections strategy from reading and language arts into the science classroom by using literature,
  • Examining different instructional strategies that incorporate varied information sources,
  • Determining points at which information can be incorporated into a lesson or series of lessons to support students in sensemaking, and
  • Engaging children of all ages at home with science/STEM trade books.

All individuals receive a certificate of participation and 100 NSTA activity points for attending the live seminar and completing the end-of-program survey. A certificate of participation is not awarded for watching the recorded version of the program.

We invite you to register for upcoming web seminars at NSTA.

View the Archive Video

To view the presentation slides from the web seminar and related resources, visit the resource collection. Continue discussing this topic in the community forums.

Below are comments from individuals who attended the seminar:

  • "Amazing speaker that knew her subject thoroughly! She shared many resources, lesson ideas, and opportunities for inviting science trade books into the ELA block."
  • "Appreciate the list of STEM trade books as a different approach to science learning as a process not just content."
  • "I enjoy talking about books and how they can be used in teaching. I will be using some of the winning books as book studies in my science methods classroom. I want to use the best books available!"

A certificate of attendance was deposited into participants' account page for completing the evaluation form at the end of the program.

For more information contact: [email protected]

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