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Take a Super Quest with us...

This week, with the publication of the fourth SuperQuesters title we bring you a guest piece by Dr Thomas Bernard and Lisa Moss, co-authors of the SuperQuesters series. Published by QuestFriendz, a STEM focused children’s book publishing company, our guests discuss the importance of getting young children engaged with STEM learning through books and how role models can play a part with their STEM learning journey.

Do you have an inner superhero, ready to burst out and save the day? Help is at hand finding them with the SuperQuesters? In this latest adventure Lilli, Leo and Bea are on a quest to save their local river. Maybe you can help them by learning what they do and then thinking about spaces where you live which could be rescued, maybe you will be inspired to do some research too - who knows where this book might take you...

From the moment children awaken they are developing and using STEM skills. Whilst they are organising their daily routines, they are creating their own bespoke special coding programme. Young children are already learning critical sequencing skills when they learn to put their underwear on before their trousers and their socks on before their shoes or how they organise the colours in their drawers. Children start to practise and engage with STEM skills even at breakfast, a kitchen doubles up as a perfect science laboratory where children can see simple chemical reactions, how proteins like eggs become firm and opaque and how fats liquefy.

How can we maximise on these daily STEM skills with young children, helping them to develop and hone these skills over time so they can unlock their potential in this area? Starting young helps to build confidence, so whilst breakfast is being made or whilst socks are being selected simple explanations can alert them to understanding these basic STEM concepts.

Another very effective way to introduce STEM topics is by using fiction books and storytelling. Parents can read the books with their children or, for independent readers, leave them to go it alone. For example for young children The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, offers a great introduction to a conversation about habitat, simple food chains and ecology, or for Key Stage 2 students, The Iron Man by Ted Hughes opens a discussion into magnetic energy. By using absorbing and interactive plots, children are encouraged to engage in STEM topics in a new way. Picture books and stories have the potential to open new worlds to children that they would not otherwise know existed and immerse them in topics that encourage them to stop, think and reflect. The stories focus on building the readers confidence so that they feel more inclined to engage in STEM in real world scenarios in the future. This is also an opportunity for children to see characters as positive and relatable role models.

Children should see role models who they can identify with and relate to, that sound and look like them, this will give them confidence in their own ideas, abilities and potential. Seeing characters from diverse ethnicities, backgrounds and genders will help them visualise a life outside their own and see possible future careers which they may not have envisaged before, providing them with an accessible route.  Books can break down stereotypes for young readers, for example children can see that not all scientists start as boys wearing white lab coats.

Role models can be a great way to inspire children to explore the possibilities of working in STEM fields. By identifying a role model at an early age, children can find inspiration to explore the possibilities of working in a similar field, be it an astronaut, ballerina or dentist! 

As publishers of STEM children’s books we want to help parents on this STEM learning journey with their children. We hope that with our SuperQuesters series we help to break down some of these existing barriers and show that all children of all genders and ethnicities can aspire to be superheroes whilst solving STEM problems! In our latest instalment The Case of the Great Energy Robbery, and our new book The Case of the Angry Sea (publishing March 2024) the SuperQuesters travel to a magical land where they solve quests whilst learning about the environment including about renewable energy sources, what biofuels are, how they are they made and the importance of recycling. We hope that through our SuperQuesters stories children can imagine that they too can become superheroes and that they enjoy their STEM learning journey whilst they achieve this!


SuperQuesters: The Case of the Angry Sea is published March 14th 2024.  

Find out more, explore our books and resources (for teachers and readers) on our website

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All published by QuestFriendz are all available from good bookshops.

Husband and wife author team, Dr Thomas Bernard and Lisa Moss were inspired to co-found QuestFriendz, a STEM children’s book publisher, following the birth of their twin daughters and their passion to help make STEM learning exciting and accessible to all children. Lisa grew up in Canada and has written stories from a young age. A 20-year corporate career at several high-tech companies led her to become acutely aware of the STEM skills gap. Thomas grew up in France and was inspired by his grandfather to have a curiosity for science, technology and discovering the world around him. His love for coding and the opportunity to create and innovate led him to pursue degrees in Physics, Mathematics and Engineering along with a PhD in Computer Engineering. He became profoundly aware of the STEM skills gap and more specifically the gender gap in STEM during his time as a computer science lecturer and during his career at several high-tech companies.

X/Twitter ~ @lisa_a_moss @ThomasAMBernard @QuestFriendz


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