In school, are you a science whiz? Math maven? The queen of all things technology-related? (Or maybe you’re a triple threat and you’re all of the above!) If you’ve got serious STEM skills, you’re likely considering mapping out a career for yourself in a related field someday.
To get a headstart, stock your shelves with some awesome STEM books for extra inspiration and guidance. Our list of must-have books has a little something for everyone—from stories of inspiring women to ideas for STEM careers to advice for surviving (and thriving) throughout your math coursework.
Cool Careers for Girls (series), Ceel Pasternak and Linda Thornburg
In this series targeted especially for girls, learn all about a huge variety of careers, including those in science, technology, math and engineering. This series digs deep to uncover the coolest STEM jobs around, with great titles like Cool Careers for Girls as Environmentalists and Cool Careers for Girls as Crime Solvers.
Math Doesn’t Suck: How to survive year 6 through year 9 maths without losing your mind or breaking a nail, Danica McKellar
If you dig retro 80s TV shows, you might remember Danica McKellar from her role as the sweet and lovely “Winnie Cooper” on “The Wonder Years.” But it turns out McKellar has a talent for more than acting. She’s a major math whiz, and alongside stars like Mayim Bialik, she’s here to encourage girls and young women to embrace math rather than flee from it. Check out the first of her titles, Math Doesn’t Suck, or one of her follow-ups that tackle algebra and geometry.
Through a Window, Jane Goodall
If you’re looking for inspiration among the most revered women scientists in history, why not start with a classic? In this book, Goodall chronicles her interactions with wild chimpanzees in Tanzania with a conversational tone. A must-read for any girl interested in animal behavior, wildlife management or conservation.
Scientists Anonymous: Great Stories of Women in Science, Patricia Fara
Unfortunately, the stories of women scientists sometimes don’t get the attention they deserve. This book aims to correct that, with stories of exceptional women who’ve made great contributions to the field. You’ll learn about all of the legends, but also some that you’ve probably never heard of before.
Find Where the Wind Goes: Moments from My Life, Mae Jemison
Mae Jemison was the first African-American woman in space, but she’s also dabbled in medicine, science and teaching. Oh, and did we mention she was just 16 when she majored in chemical engineering at Stanford? This multi-talented woman (and storyteller) gives an engaging biographical account of her path from girl to hero.
Young Women of Achievement, Frances A. Karnes
Are you interested in pursuing a career in STEM? This resource guide is a great place to start, offering an introduction to STEM careers, accounts of other successful women in the sciences and many resources that will give you the kickstart you need for your future STEM career.
Emmy Noether: The Mother of Modern Algebra, M. B. W. Tent
Here’s another one for you math fans out there. Emmy Noether is considered one of the most important mathematicians of our time, and how often do you hear her name? Our guess: not often. Learn about her interesting path and her collaboration with other scientists like Albert Einstein.
“Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman!”, Richard Feynman, Ralph Leighton, Edward Hutchings, and Albert Hibbs
While this particular title might wasn’t written exclusively for girls, it’s another classic we had to include. Nobel-Prize winning physicist Richard Feynman shares one incredible anecdote after another with humor and candor. In his voice, science is engaging and entertaining. In short, readers love him.
Obsessive Genius: The Inner World of Marie Curie, Barbara Goldsmith
Chances are you have heard of Marie Curie, possibly the most famous female scientist in history. While this Nobel-Prize winning genius led a rich scientific life, her personal life had its share of drama as well. This book chronicles the obstacles she overcame, including prevalent sexism in the scientific community.
In addition to books, there’s a world of web resources out there for girls interested in STEM. A few favorites:
List of Websites on STEM Careers
Science Girl Activities, PBS
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