STEM Friday

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Books

STEM Friday: Investigating the Tallest Structures in the World!


Skyscrapers: Investigate Feats of Engineering with 25 Projects
by Donna Latham
Illustrated by Andrew Christensen
Nomad Press, 2013


Can you identify what structure was nicknamed the “Metal Asparagus” by some who found it hideously unappealing when it was completed in 1889? I’ll give you a hint. It’s perhaps the most famous and recognizable structure in the world. You guessed it, the Eiffel Tower! The Eiffel Tower is just one of the many structures around the world that define our cityscapes. And it’s not even one of the oldest. In fact, humans have endeavored to build tall since long, long ago. The first known “skyscrapers” were built of sun-dried mud and bricks. These buildings, called ziggurats, were stepped pyramids built in the ancient Mesopotamian Valley as offerings to the powerful gods living in the skies. Today our skyscrapers reach much taller than these primitive forms, and they’re not just monuments; they’re homes, offices, museums, and everything else that you could imagine!


For STEM Friday this week we’re featuring one of our newest titles at Nomad Press, Skyscrapers: Investigate Feats of Engineering with 25 Projects for kids ages 9 and older. What requires more STEM knowledge than a skyscraper! Designing and building a skyscraper requires knowledge of internal forces like tension, torsion, and compression, as well as external forces like hurricanes and earthquakes. So many variables must be considered when building the tallest structures in the world—structures people live in and use every day! Our book is an excellent introduction to civil and structural engineering. It even provides an overview of the engineering design process and the steps engineers follow when they tackle a problem, leading them to a solution for a new product, system, or structure.

Projects in our book include building a sugar cube step pyramid and a freestanding spaghetti skyscraper! It also includes cool facts. For example, did you know the Empire State Building gets struck by lightning around 100 times PER YEAR?!?! It was actually designed as a lightning rod for neighboring buildings. Who knew? Now you do!

Today’s post is part of STEM Friday, a weekly round-up of children’s science, engineering, math and technology books.

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.
  • 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!)


It’s STEM Friday! (STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)

Happy STEM Friday to all!

Jane at Nomad

3 thoughts on “STEM Friday: Investigating the Tallest Structures in the World!

  1. Hi Jane,

    I have a Nomad Press book today, too: Explore Gravity! With 25 Great Projects at

    The step pyramid sounds “sweet.” 🙂

  2. Love the look of these skyscrapers! Will have to check it out 🙂