kids building toy car

Inspire a Love for STEAM with First Book!

Joey Mathis is a First Book Marketing and Communication intern. She is currently an undergrad student at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia.

This month and all year long, First Book invites everyone to celebrate STEAM! STEAM highlights the importance of Science, Technology and Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics in education and is a great way for students to build critical thinking as well as social and emotional skills. We recognize that there are many building blocks to create a well-rounded student and all STEAM subjects have a place in the classroom and beyond.  

From coding kits to robotic pets, First Book has selected award-winning, top-class resources to inspire and engage students. We strive to increase accessibility to school resources for students across the country. We are happy to provide a variety of low-cost, accessible STEAM resources for the members of our Network on the First Book Marketplace.

Educators who work in Title I schools and programs serving kids in need are encouraged to join First Book’s Network for free. The Network gives educators access to discounted or free books, free downloadable resources, and opportunities from our partners to further engage your classroom. If you’re already a member, share the Network with your colleagues, to bring educational equity and resources to even more children across the United States. 

STEAM Resources on Marketplace 

STEAM can be used all around the classroom from themes in books to science experiments. On the Marketplace, members of our Network can find science themed fiction books, STEM activities and kits, engaging puzzles, terrific toys, free resources, and so much more! Find all our STEAM resources on the Marketplace

STEM Activities 

Shop our STEM Activities section to find fun and engaging games, kits, and toys that are great for developing problem-solving, creativity, teamwork, and sparking curiosity!

Easy Electric Circuits STEM Experiment Kit

Explore the science of electricity in a fun, hands-on way by building 20 electric circuits and motorized devices. Conduct experiments to learn about many electrical components and physical science principles firsthand. From circuit to circuit, you can see for yourself the different effects the electric current has on the motor and the LED light. The innovative building system allows you to easily piece together the circuits by sliding the connectors together, and then easily sliding them apart when it’s time to build the next circuit.

Shop at the Marketplace.

My Robotic Pet: Tumbling Hedgehog

Build your own adorable robotic pet hedgehog! With the 172 building pieces in this kit, you can assemble a real robot that looks like a cute hedgehog. The robot has a built-in sound sensor and is programmed to react to different sounds. After you build it, you can play with it by making different sounds and watching it tumble, roll, spin around, bristle its spines, and scurry around. Clap once, and the hedgehog will roll into a ball and tumble backwards. Clap multiple times, and the hedgehog will count your claps and tumble as many times as you instructed with your claps. You can also get the hedgehog to bristle its spines and act in a playful way with different patterns of claps. The hedgehog’s eyes light up with LEDs.

Shop at the Marketplace.

ThinkStretch: BrainGain Addition to 20

Focusing on the specific skill sets, not grade levels, BrainGain math activity book contains eight sessions based on best practice skill mastery progressions.

Each session follows a pattern: math fact practice, followed by a math riddle or puzzle. Next, more math fact practice and then students solve word problems using the mastered facts. Finally, students time themselves to measure both their accuracy and speed.

Shop at the Marketplace.

Coding and Robotics Kit

Meet Sammy. This cute little peanut butter and jelly sandwich is actually a robot that teaches coding principles and skills to children in grades K-2. You don’t need a tablet, smartphone, or computer to program this robot; programs are created by simply laying down a sequence of physical code cards. As the robot drives over the code cards, an OID optical scanner on the bottom of the robot reads the code cards one by one and loads the program. Next, place the robot on a grid made of map cards, and the robot runs the program. You can program the robot to move in different directions, activate its output gear, light up its LED, play sounds, and respond to different function cards.

Shop at the Marketplace.

Diversity in STEM Books

Women and people of color have historically been underrepresented in STEM fields, so it’s critical for all students to learn about the “hidden figures” within the sciences and encounter books in which a diversity of kids participate in STEM activities. Explore our Diversity in STEM section to help students see broad potential for themselves and understand that STEM is for everyone! 

Emmy Noether: The Most Important Mathematician You’ve Never Heard Of

by Helaine Becker, illustrated by Kari Rust 

In this engaging and inspiring biography, a groundbreaking but relatively unknown woman finally gets her due as one of the most influential mathematicians of the twentieth century.

Emmy Noether is not pretty, quiet, good at housework or eager to marry—all the things a German girl is expected to be in her time. What she is, though, is a genius at math. When she grows up, she finds a way to first study math at a university (by sitting in, not actually enrolling) and then to teach it (by doing so for free). She also manages to do her own research into some of the most pressing math and physics problems of the day. And though she doesn’t get much credit during her lifetime, her discoveries continue to influence how we understand the world today.

Shop at the Marketplace.

Shine On, Luz Véliz!

by Rebecca Balcarcel 

Have you ever been the best at something…only to lose it all?

Luz Véliz is a soccer star—or rather, she was a soccer star. With her serious knee injury, it’s unlikely she’ll be back on the field anytime soon. But without soccer, who is she? Even her dad treats her differently now—like he doesn’t know her or, worse, like he doesn’t even like her. When Luz discovers she has a knack for coding, it feels like a lifeline to a better self. If she can just ace the May Showcase, she’ll not only skip a level in her coding courses and impress Ms. Freeman and intriguing, brilliant Trevor—she’ll have her parents cheering her on from the sidelines, just the way she likes it.

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Omar Rising

by Aisha Saeed 

Omar knows his scholarship to Ghalib Academy Boarding School is a game changer, providing him—the son of a servant—with an opportunity to improve his station in life. He can’t wait to experience all the school has to offer, especially science club and hopefully the soccer team; but when he arrives, his hopes are dashed. First-year scholarship students aren’t allowed to join clubs or teams—and not only that, they have to earn their keep doing menial chores. At first Omar is dejected—but then he gets angry when he learns something even worse: the school deliberately “weeds out” kids like him by requiring them to get significantly higher grades than kids who can pay tuition, making it nearly impossible for scholarship students to graduate. It’s a good thing that in his favorite class, he’s learned the importance of being stubbornly optimistic. So with the help of his tightknit new group of friends—and with the threat of expulsion looming over him—he sets out to do what seems impossible: change a rigged system.

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Ty’s Travels: Lab Magic (My First I Can Read)

by Kelly Starling Lyons, illustrated by Nina Mata

Ty and Corey love to visit the museum. When they step through the doors, they become scientists. They study bugs and hunt for fossils. They catch the wind. When Ty can’t participate in a lab activity because of his age, he uses his big imagination at home. Discovering new things is so much fun!

Ty’s Travels: Lab Magic, a My First I Can Read book, is carefully crafted using basic language, word repetition, sight words, and sweet illustrations—which means it’s perfect for shared reading with emergent readers.

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How to Become a Planet

by Nicole Melleby

The two most important things to know about Pluto Timoney: (1) she’s always loved outer space (obviously); and (2) her favorite season is summer, the time to go to the boardwalk, visit the planetarium, and work in her mom’s pizzeria.

This summer, when Pluto’s turning thirteen, is different. Pluto has just been diagnosed with depression, and she feels like a black hole is sitting on her chest, making it hard to do anything. When Pluto’s dad threatens to make her move to the city—where he believes his money could help her get better—Pluto comes up with a plan to do whatever it takes to be her old self again. If she does everything that old, “normal” Pluto would do, she can stay with her mom. But it takes a new therapist, new tutor, and new (cute) friend with a plan of her own for Pluto to see that there is no old or new her. There’s just Pluto, discovering more about herself every day.

Shop at the Marketplace.

Free STEAM Resources 

Informed by experts and extensive research, these free resources from First Book’s Accelerator™ save you time and offer actionable steps you can take today to support the kids and teens in your community.

A Future Without Waste

This resource includes facts and statistics about waste and recycling in the U.S., additional student activities, helpful definitions, a take-home recycling guide for caregivers, and much more!

Download on the Marketplace.

Climate Change in the United States

Explore information about how changing weather patterns and increasing temperatures affect specific communities and industries throughout the country as well as activities for students and links to additional climate change lessons and resources.

Download on the Marketplace.

Join our Network! 

Ready to use these tools and more in your classroom? Educators can join First Book’s Network — the largest and fastest growing network of educators, schools, and programs serving children in need across the United States and Canada — to bring new resources and supplies to the classroom.