This week we have found another middle grade novel that promotes STEM, The Nora Notebooks, Book 1: The Trouble with Ants by Claudia Mills and illustrated by Katie Kath.
Nora, the main character, is a 10-year-old budding myrmecologist with an ant farm and a passion for studying ants. She records fascinating facts about ants in a journal, tidbits of which are given at the ends of chapters. Nora even does a simple experiment with ants and writes a paper about it.
In addition to information about ants, the text reveals basics of how scientists work. For example, Nora’s mother specializes in studying Saturn’s rings. In another part, Nora’s dad explains to her how scientists publish their work in scientific journals, something youngsters probably have no inkling about.
If this basic STEM theme doesn’t sound appealing, you will still want to give this book a chance. In fact this story is as rich and layered as a torte, with themes of boy versus girl, keeping pets, and even cat videos. It will find a wide audience because different readers are going to find different aspects relevant.
For more details about the layers and for using The Trouble With Ants for studying writing as well as promoting science, check our full review at Wrapped in Foil blog. Growing with Science also has related ant science activity suggestions this week.
It’s STEM Friday! (STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)
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