Reviews /

STEM QUEST – Tools, Robotics and Gadgets Galore

Authored by Nick Arnold
Illustrated by Kristyna Baczynski
Published by Carlton Kids

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STEM QUEST – Tools, Robotics and Gadgets Galore

Tools, Robotics and Gadgets Galore forms part of the STEM QUEST series of books aimed at engaging children into the world of science, technology, engineering and maths.

Each double-page spread of the book takes a different topic and becomes almost a mini-book in itself, making it perfect for dipping in and out of. What I like about this book is that the facts are clearly and simply articulated without being oversimplified or condescending. Each topic is placed into context with a small amount of historical background followed by a ‘What’s the big idea?’ summary of the information to follow.

Where applicable, there is a photograph of an important historical figure linked to the topic and just the right amount of information to hook the children in and keep them interested in moving around the page. Each section would make a perfect model of a nonfiction text for children to use when creating their own; it gets the facts across while engaging the reader in a fun and informative way.

The comic-style illustrations make it inviting and accessible with just the right balance of information and text. Teachers could use this book to support work throughout the year by locating key topics within it. I shared this under the visualiser, and it translated well to the large class screen. By far the most exciting part of the book for the children was the suggestion of experiments that can be done at home or school. The joy of these experiments is that it’s likely you have most of the things you need already at home, but if not, they are easily and cheaply accessible with a little planning. For example, you can make your own plastic with little more than milk and vinegar (who knew?!).

STEM QUEST – Tools, Robotics and Gadgets Galore joins the whole new wave of accessible and fun nonfiction texts that are now available and will hopefully inspire a new generation of scientists and engineers.

Ideal for ages 7-11, but also for parents and teachers who would like ideas for fun science experiments to try at home or school.