Saturday, September 3, 2016

Summer Reading 2016 The STEM Club Goes Exploring


STEM has been a hot topic lately, and it is nice to see more titles that address this area. The subject matter in combination with the graphic format should capture the attention of many young readers. The approach is reminiscent of a Magic School Bus adventure, minus the transforming bus and Ms. Frizzle's flamboyant personality. In this instance we have a male teacher who is in charge of the STEM Club. He drives the kids around in a minivan (that does not transform into anything else), as they visit various places where they can research STEM careers. Once they are done with the interviews, they will edit together a video to share with the school.

There are many positives about this book. Besides the timely topic, there are diverse backgrounds among the students and the people they interview, as well as a mix of male and female characters. The careers that they go on location to investigate are not discussed in isolation. Other STEM-related jobs are also pointed out by each expert, such as the veterinary student who talks about classmates who plan to work on creating healthy pet food and supplements, or the geologist who points out that an astronaut who walked on the moon and collected samples was also a geologist. Fields as different as physical therapy and video game design are all covered, based on the interests of each student in the club. And the process of creating the video is a STEM activity in itself - with kids planning, filming, and editing. There is also a glossary of STEM careers in the back of the book, from Air Traffic Controller to Zoologist.

Overall it is an entertaining read and an easy introduction into the idea of STEM careers (and the education that prepares for them). This book would be a helpful addition to elementary school libraries or classrooms.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

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