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One of the best benefits of reading is that the language in books guides us to imagine or create our own vision of the story. It's even better when a story inspires a vision of something we might not have seen or looked for on our own. Our vision may be quite different from the author's vision or from the vision of a movie director. We may even begin to see ourselves in the story. You all knew that, I'm sure, but I hope you'll also recognize that intersection of the story and the readers' / listeners' reactions is where we can use books to best influence and empower young people in the most constructive ways. A single book can spark an interest that could drive an entire career.
Where should you look for great STEM books? Many of you may already be familiar with the Children’s Book Council. They have a great Children’s Choices Reading List assembled in cooperation with the International Reading Association. But, for almost 40 years, experienced science teachers of the National Science Teachers' Association (headquartered right here in the Courthouse neighborhood of Arlington) have worked with the Children’s Book Council to identify great books, selected based on the books’ accuracy, creativity, how they convey the practices of science and how they engage readers. These lists are called the Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K–12, and the lists from the last 15 years are published online at www.nsta.org/publications/ostb/.
Guest blog post by Jim Egenrieder - Jim[at]STEMeducation.us
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