STEM Super Science – Critical Thinking and Inquiry

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Children already think like scientists! They are guessing, testing, trying, learning and improving every day they play. Per the research conducted by the Center for Childhood Creativity and others, play is an opportunity for some amazing brain development: “Play is not frivolity and fluff; it is the brain’s wired-in process for learning. Through play of all sorts—from building to board games, from make-believe to magic tricks—children are testing theories about how the world works and developing the brain plasticity for lifelong learning.” How does play help our children develop in STEM fields? It happens through all the critical thinking taking place during play! Problem solving, testing, inventing, collaborating, hypothesizing – these skills develop in children during play. As adults we can help our learners by asking them open ended questions like “How did you do that?” or “What do you think will happen?” The books included in this list can inspire kids to think about the world around them, prepare them to accept mistakes will happen and transform their ideas and dreams into real life goals to grow.

The Atlas Obscura Explorer's Guide for the World's Most Adventurous Kid

Presents a kid’s illustrated guide to 100 of the world’s wonders, both natural and manmade, in 47 countries and on every continent on Earth. Travel the world through common points of interest, from sacred skeletons (Trunyan Tree cemetery in Indonesia leads you to India’s Skeleton Lake, for example) to wild waterfalls (while in Zambia visit the Devil’s Swimming Pool–and then move on to Antarctica’s Blood Falls) to ice caves to bioluminescence.

The Brain : The Ultimate Thinking Machine

Provides an inside look at the human brain, the most advanced operating system in the world, by exploring topics such as how our senses work in relation to the brain and how we remember things. Presented in comic book format. Includes glossary.

Calling All Minds

Explores how to experiment and how to think about science for young readers.

Cece Loves Science

Cece, a budding and inquisitive scientist, and her equally curious best friend conduct experiments to see whether Cece‘s dog will eat his vegetables.

Crash! Boom! : A Math Tale

Follow along as an elephant goes through the ups and downs of creating something new from a bucket of blocks.

The Girl with a Mind for Math : The Story of Raye Montague

This is a rhyming-text picture book about Raye Montague. After touring a German submarine in the early 1940s, young Raye set her sights on becoming an engineer. Little did she know sexism and racial inequality would challenge that dream every step of the way, even keeping her greatest career accomplishment a secret for decades. Through it all, the gifted mathematician persisted– finally gaining her well-deserved title in history: a pioneer who changed the course of ship design forever.

I Have an Idea!

The author meditates on the search for an idea, and the wonderful feeling when the right idea comes along, unleashing the creative process.

My Pen

An artist celebrates the many things he can do with a  simple pen, and encourages the reader to do the same.

The Third Mushroom

When thirteen-year-old Ellie’s Grandpa Melvin, a world-renowned scientist in the body of a fourteen-year-old boy, comes for an extended visit, he teaches her that experimenting–and failing–is part of life.

What If...

A child who likes to draw and write stories imagines what would happen if there were no pencils, paper, or other tools for being creative.