Survey Shows Kids do not want to be Engineers. You can Change That!
Updated: Jun 2, 2022
There has been a big push to introduce children to STEM or STEAM in the past 10 years or so, and the initiative is highly warranted. In 2008, a survey conducted by Harris Interactive showed a staggering 85 percent of children answered that they were not interested in a future engineering career. This means that becoming an engineer is not on kids' lists of dream jobs.
But there is good news! The survey also showed that 44% of the children surveyed were not interested in an engineering career because they just do not know about it. In the words of my six-year-old son Andrew, "An engineer? What's that?" There are a plethora of children's books and child friendly activities to educate and spark any child's interest in engineering.
Here are just a few books that can do the job! (Bonus ➡ Some of the books come with free extension activities!)
1. Think Like A Computer by Terysa Ridgeway
Looking for an engaging book to teach girls about Computer Science? This is it!
Eight-year-old Terysa loves to solve problems. Give her some time and she'll figure out how to solve anything.
So when Terysa is given an older computer for her birthday, she faces her biggest challenge yet:
Can she make it talk?
Terysa is full of good ideas, but will any of them work, or does she need to change her approach and think less like a human and think more like a computer?
This fun and interactive story introduces children to the basics of coding through an engaging narrative based on the true story of a little girl who loves to solve problems!
By the end of the book, parents and teachers will have a guide for nurturing early problem solving skills and encouraging healthy curiosity all while simultaneously introducing young girls to Computer Science.
2. What Can I Be? Stem Careers from A-Z by Tiffani Teachey
What Can I Be? STEM Careers from A to Z is an inspiring and easy-to-read alphabet picture book that teaches our next generation about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) careers. This book provides colorful illustrations of six diverse children representing various STEM careers (i.e. astronauts, doctors, scientists, and engineers, etc.), helping children (5 to 8 years old) see themselves in one of the STEM careers, and motivates them to shape their future through STEM!
Book also comes as a Teacher's Edition, and in multiple languages.
3. Andrew Learns about Engineers by Tiffany Obeng
Looking for a wonderfully engaging STEM children's book that will inspire STEM in your child? Andrew Learns about Engineers is it!
When Andrew imagines a new toy to help young kids beat boredom, Daddy congratulates him, "You're like an engineer, kid." So begins the fun and easy to read exploration of engineers and their impact on our daily lives and the world!
Andrew Learns about Engineers, the fourth book in the Andrew's Career Day book series, is a great book and beginner career resource to introduce young children to the career of an engineer. Complete with phonetic assistance, an easy reader glossary, and diverse and inclusive images and images of engineering pioneers (think Garrett Morgan, Mae Jemison, Katherine Johnson!), your child will begin thinking of a possible career as an engineer and be in awe of engineers. This is the book to inspire STEM!
Andrew Learns about Engineers shows how special and important being an engineer is, which makes it a must have book for National Engineers Week (E-week), World Engineering Day and any day that celebrates engineers' contributions to society and exposes children to the profession.
The FREE learning activities and supplemental lesson plan (for grades K, 1, and 2) that accompany the book, makes Andrew Learn