Book Week is taking place this year on 17-23 October, making now the perfect time to pick up a title or two that will spark the interest and imagination of young minds and reveal all the exciting possibilities of STEM.
This year’s Book Week theme is ‘Curious creatures, wild minds’, which we think sums up the engineering profession perfectly.
Here are 10 picks to get kids (and the adults who care for them) interested in the wide world of engineering and STEM.
Engibears series, Andrew King
Written by chemical and environmental engineer Andrew King MIEAust, Engibear’s Dream takes children along for the ride as Engibear attempts to build a Bearbot to help him at work. Early versions fail — often spectacularly — but Engibear keeps trying.
Other titles in the series include Engibear’s Bridge, in which Engibear and Bearbot are recruited to help build a crazy new bridge, and Engilina’s Trains, an exciting tale where the team tries to build a train that’s as fast as a plane.
With fun illustrations and great stories, the series is sure to get young minds thinking about all the things they could create as they watch Engibear achieve his dreams.
I Want to be an Engineer, Samantha Dungey
Engineers contribute so much to the world, why wouldn’t you want to grow up and be one?
That’s the message of this children’s book, which celebrates some of Australia’s everyday engineering marvels and how they have changed our world.
Through beautiful illustrations and playful rhymes, it shows the wonder and excitement that can be found in everything — from tall towers to smart electric cars.
By writing the book, author and engineer Samantha Dungey wanted to promote STEM careers to children and show how exciting, and world changing, they can be.
Young Engineers, Andrew King
Another title from Andrew King (although this time without the furry characters), this picture book was designed to spark children’s engineering imaginations and creativity.
It illustrates the links between the worlds’ of young children at play and engineers at work, with each page depicting a different discipline, and is sure to get children dreaming, drawing and designing their very own creations.
Girls Think of Everything, Catherine Thimmesh
In kitchens and living rooms, in garages and labs, and even in converted chicken coops, women and girls have invented ingenious innovations that have made our lives better and simpler.
From Mary Elizabeth Anderson, who came up with the windshield wiper, to Bette Nesmith Graham, who developed Liquid Paper and Jeanne Lee Crews, an aerospace engineer at NASA, this book is full of inspiring stories about some incredible inventions — and the women behind them.
Perfect for primary-school-aged children, pick up this book to discover what inspired these women, and how they turned their ideas into realities.
Under the Stars: Astrophysics for Bedtime, Lisa Harvey-Smith
With this book from Australia’s Women in STEM Ambassador Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith, kids can explore the solar system, peer inside a black hole and discover why the sky is blue — all from the comfort of their beds.
It will take curious children on a journey through the night sky and bring astrophysics to life, providing a new perspective for young explorers who are always asking, “Why?”.
How Cities Work, Lonely Planet Kids
The first in a series from Lonely Planet Kids, this book invites children to explore the city in a whole new way. It’s packed with facts, flaps to lift and unfolding pages that reveal what’s inside buildings and under streets.
Perfect for kids aged five and up, readers learn about everything from skyscrapers to subway systems and stinky sewers, with beautiful illustrations and lots of hidden details to spot.
Also look out for How Trains Work and How Airports Work.
Meet the Wavemakers, Women in Subsea Engineering
Developed by the Women in Subsea Engineering group, this comic book explores the lives of the Wavemakers — women who have forged successful technical careers within the subsea industry.
It puts a fun spin on engineering tasks, and will keep children aged seven to 11 engaged with fun illustrations and storylines.
Rosie Revere, Engineer, Andrea Beaty
This is a witty, charming picture book about pursuing your passion.
Rosie might seem quiet during the day, but at night she’s the brilliant inventor of gizmos and gadgets who dreams of becoming a great engineer.
When Rosie’s great aunt comes for a visit and mentions her one unfulfilled goal — to fly — Rosie gets to work building a contraption to make her dreams come true. The story doesn’t end there, though. This is a tale of perseverance and never giving up.
Fans of the story can also pick up the chapter book Rosie Revere and the Raucous Riveters, which is perfect for older children.
A Human’s Guide to the Future, Jordan Nguyen
Australian biomedical engineer Dr Jordan Nguyen has lived a life of curiosity and wonder, exploring opportunities in robotics, artificial intelligence, bionics, extended reality and avatars. He believes that technology is a powerful tool that humans can choose to harness to create a better tomorrow.
One for a slightly older audience, this book is all about the big innovations being developed around the world, and where we are headed.