Top Awards for STEM Titles
By Melissa Stewart
While I was presenting at the SCBWI summer conference in Los Angeles, I couldn’t help but ask my audience a question I’ve been thinking about for a long time: Why don’t STEM titles seem to win the BIG awards in children’s literature as often as social studies titles? One person in the audience was so intrigued by my question that she asked me to lunch. Needless to say, we had quite a discussion.
When I tossed out that question on the spur of the moment, I didn’t have any data to back me up. (I know what you’re thinking. What kind of scientists am I?) But recently, I’ve looked back over past winners of the Newbery, Caldecott, and Sibert and tallied the nonfiction winners.
The Newbery was created in 1922, and the Caldecott was created in 1938. I reviewed the medalists and honor winners since 1995. The Silbert was created in 2001, so I tallied the winners since its inception.
Here are the results:
I have to admit that when I’ve read through these lists in the past, I came away with the impression that history titles had STEM beat hands down. But a closer look shows that history is only the clear leader among Newberys. Biographies are the big winners overall with a total score of 37 (8 medalists, 29 honors) overall. While history (22 overall) and STEM (12 overall) trail behind.
Then I took a closer look at the people featured in the biographies. It turns out that 23 are key historical figures and 8 are scientists. The rest are artists or musicians.
So why don’t STEM boosk win their fair share of accolades? What do you think?
Join STEM Friday!
We invite you to join us!
- Write about STEM each Friday on your blog.
- Copy the STEM Friday button to use in your blog post.
It’s STEM Friday! (STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)
- Link your post to the comments of our weekly STEM Friday Round-up. (Please use the link to your STEM Friday post, not the address of your blog. Thanks!)