STEAM Books for Elementary Readers

Discover a selection of captivating STEAM books curated by PacSci’s Education Team to enhance your on-site experience at PacSci. From the wonders of space to the depths of tide pools, these engaging reads offer a wealth of knowledge for curious minds.

Each recommended STEM book is labeled with an age range and connections to on-site exhibits or aspects of your PacSci visit.

"Magic Ramen: The Story of Momofuku Ando" Written by Andrea Wang and Illustrated by Kana Urbanowicz Man holding a bowl of ramen

Magic Ramen by Andrea Wang (Grades K5)

Did you love our engineering challenges in Tinker Tank? Then this book is for you!

Magic Ramen is a fun biography about the inventor of instant ramen. It is a delightful example of the engineering process in action: Momofuku Ando notices a problem in his community, then cycles through making prototypes for a solution, recognizing parts of his design that need improvement, and using all kinds of outside sources as information and inspiration to help make instant ramen even better.

"How to Hear the Universe" by Patricia Valdez and Sara Palacios Little girl with scientists and a pile of books

How to Hear the Universe: Gaby González and the Search for Einstein’s Ripples in Space-time by Patricia Valdez (Grades 38)

Did you have a blast at a planetarium show? For the avid astronomer or future physicist, this book is a wonderful introduction to one of the most profound discoveries in modern science: gravitational waves!

Although the scientific concepts are advanced, they are well-described for readers who have already taken an interest in space science and physics. It also features a local Washington state research facility!

"Search for a Giant Squid" by Amy Seto Forrester & Andy Chou Musser

Search for A Giant Squid by Amy Seta Forrester (Grades 3+)

Did you get your hands wet in the Salt Water Tide Pool? Learn more about ocean exploration with this book!

Search for a Giant Squid offers a cool insight into how scientists study the deep, dark parts of the ocean. Learn more about the process then make choices in the story that affect the results of the scientific investigation. It is a great way for readers to feel engaged in science as a process, in a fun choose-your-own-adventure format.

"The Dirt Book: Poems about Animals that Live Beneath Our Feet" by David L. Harrison Illustrated by Kate Cosgrove

The Dirt Book: Poems About Animals That Live Beneath Our Feet by David L. Harrison (Grades K+)

Did you love our on-site bugs and Tropical Butterfly House? This beautiful book of poems explores how dirt relates to a whole bunch of animals and bugs that live underground. Although fun enough to read aloud for a younger reader, it is also a great exploration of how biotic and abiotic factors in an ecosystem are related for older readers.

"Physics for Kids" by Liz Lee Heinecke Illustrations of different scientists

Physics for Kids: Science Experiments and Activities Inspired by Awesome Physicists, Past and Present by Liz Lee Heinecke (Grades 3+)

Have you asked, “Where can I find fun and educational physics activities for kids?” This book contains not your average home physics experiments.

This book is full of innovative home experiments that reference more than your standard Newton-based activities to include activities based on more modern physics too. And as icing on the cake, it does a great job of explaining the physics behind each experiment and even describes the life and work of real physicists who contributed to the science they are based on.

"If You Take Away the Otter" Book by Susannah Buhrman-Deever and Illustrated by Matthew Trueman. Blue cover with two animated otters.

If You Take Away the Otter by Susannah Buhrman-Deever (Grades K5)

Are you interested in the local Pacific Northwest ecosystems?

This book offers a local, concrete example of how changes to one part of an ecosystem can threaten the balance of the system. The main text of the story and the stunning illustrations that accompany it make this a great choice for a read-aloud, but there are also extra details about each step in the process for curious readers to dive deeper into the content.

"Classified: The Secret Career of Mary Golda Ross, Cherokee Aerospace Engineer" Traci Sorell and Illustrations by Natasha Donovan Woman holding books in her hand

Classified: The Secret Career of Mary Golda Ross, Cherokee Aerospace Engineer by Traci Sorell (Grades 35)

Do you love learning how things work? Engineering might be the career for you!

This biography does a great job of highlighting the career of Mary Golda Ross, a Cherokee woman who worked for Lockheed Martin creating many new military technologies during the Cold War. Instead of showing her creations, many of which remain classified, this book emphasizes her passion and dedication to becoming an engineer, and how her Cherokee values fostered a life-long passion for engineering.

"Comets, Stars, the Moon, and Mars" Space Poems and Paintings by Douglas Florian

Comets, Stars, the Moon, and Mars: Space Poems and Paintings by Douglas Florian (Grades K+)

Do you want to take off in a rocket ship to space? This book is a fun and engaging set of poems that teach readers all about space. From comets streaking across the night sky to the mysteries of distant stars, each poem takes readers on a voyage through the universe, alongside stunning illustrations that vividly capture the beauty of our solar system.

Where can I get these STEAM books?

This STEM book list is hosted by Seattle Public Libraries, but you don’t have to be an SPL cardholder to take advantage! Many of these titles can be accessed from other library systems, such as your school library or local library, or from a local book seller.

Where are libraries in Washington State?

To find a library near you, utilize online resources such as library directories or search engines.

Libraries serve as invaluable resources for families and individuals of all ages, providing access to books, digital resources, and community programs—all for free with a library card.

Explore options such as the Seattle Public Library, King County Library System, Pierce County Library System, and others.

Thank you to our generous supporters, including more than 1,500 individuals, companies, and foundations, as well as more than 20,000 member households. Your support brings to life PacSci’s mission to ignite curiosity in every corner of Washington State and beyond.

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