Engineering Books and Magazines for Kids
This page includes some books that we have taken a look at and have decided are a good resource to introduce Engineering to kids. The books listed are coded according to the engineering area(s) that the resource pertains to, such as the Engineering Process, Machines, Energy, or Computing.
We've included links to shop for these books online. We like Amazon for the reviews, because parents share their experiences in great detail. Besides, we do earn a tiny little bit of money for any sales that occur through this channel, which will help us fund more of this research and content! You can also take a look at your local public library. If they don't have it in stock in your local branch, they can often find a way to locate them elsewhere and provide them to you.
Robotics: Discover the Science and Technology of the Future
This is a well-written, kid-friendly book with a series of 20 projects to introduce kids to building robots. One of the great things about it is the easy-to-understand definitions of robotics, electronics, and engineering terms - many in the glossary in the back, but also sprinkled throughout the book. In addition, at the end of the book, there is a long list of other resources you can look to for even more information on robotics and engineering.
LEGO TEchnic Idea Book: Simple Machines
This book was suggested to us by a parent fan of our site. It is one of a series of books with some interesting ideas about things that can be built with Lego Technic pieces. There are some other books in the set, including: The LEGO Technic Idea Book: Fantastic Contraptions
and The LEGO Technic Idea Book: Wheeled Wonders
. The parent who suggested this book series is compiling parts lists for them. If you are interested in purchasing a parts kit as a companion to this book, use the suggestion link at the bottom of the page to send us an email and we can probably help you!
This is a super fun, historical look at how math helps us understand the world through measurement, from how early civilizations were able to measure the length of the year to more modern discoveries like how to measure energy, electricity, and light. This historical perspective gives the the reader a sense of the collective human accomplishments in measurement that we now learn in grade school, like how many hours are in a day and how you can use latitude and longitude to find your location on the globe. If you are familiar with the DK books generally, you know that they are rich with images and accessible writing.
Go Figure!: A Totally Cool Book About Numbers
This book is by the same author as Why Pi and is about both the history of numbers and how numerical patterns appear all around us. It's part of the same DK series, so it has the same great visuals and text. Kids spend so much time learning how to add, subtract, and use otherwise use numbers, but this book will actually give them (and you) a totally fun perspective on numbers and math. The book also includes brain teasers (some of which you might remember from your own childhood), and you will likely have fun working through them too. We classified this under Engineering Process, because of the puzzles and problems to solve - problem solving is a very key part of engineering, regardless of which branch of engineering or what type of engineering role.
The New Way Things Work
If you are kept up at night wondering about how things work--from electricity to can openers—then this book is for you. This visual guide to the world of machines takes you through the mechanics of movement, harnessing of the elements, working with waves, electricity and automation, the digital domain and the invention of machines.
Scholastic Discover More: The Elements
This book is spectacular visual guide to the more than 100 elements that make up you and everything around you. What are we made of? What keeps our universe and us in motion? This book is more than a walk through the periodic table. Find out their amazing uses—from diamond rings to silicon chips to rocket fuel. Beautiful photographs and modern graphics make tough science concepts simple. Packed with facts to think about and ways to find out more.
Python for Kids: A Playful Introduction to Programming
We got copies of this book at PyCon - the Python Developer's Conference. We hadn't heard of the book prior, but it also is well-written and aimed at kid coders.
The LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT 2.0 Discovery Book: A Beginner's Guide to Building and Programming Robots
This is a good companion book to the Mindstorms NXT sets, particularly for the adults who may be called to help their kids with robotics and may not have an Engineering background. Lego has now released the EV3 version of Mindstorms, but this book should still be largely applicable.
The Art of Construction: Projects and Principles for Beginning Engineers & Architects
This book is a highly rated book on engineering of structures, like bridges and skyscrapers, and includes projects that kids can build using materials around the house.
Simple Machines (Starting with Science)
This books provides 13 projects that allow young children to build and experiment with the six simple machines. It has an element of creativity that other explanations of simple machines sometimes lack. Also, some of the final products are fun and your kids might come up with other creative uses for them (like making a pulley to bring mail up into their secret lair).
Janice VanCleave's Physics for Every Kid: 101 Easy Experiments in Motion, Heat, Light, Machines, and Sound (Science for Every Kid Series)
As stated in the title, this is a book of experiments, not a textbook on physics. A good understanding of physics is foundational to engineering, and this book has 101 simple (many extremely simple) experiments that demonstrate key principles of physics, including a section on simple machines.
Engineering the City: How Infrastructure Works, Projects and Principles for Beginners
This book nicely combines an explanation of the science, history and engineering that went into the creation of our modern infrastructure. The topics include water transportation, people transportation (roads, bridges, tunnels, etc), and an explanation of all the wires that line our streets. Throughout the book, you'll find activities and experiments that make these far-reaching topics hands-on.
Eyewitness Visual Dictionary of Physics
This dictionary takes you on a visual tour through the world of physics. It covers a wide variety of topics from motors, forces, motion, heat, electricity, magnetism, color, and light to particle physics, atoms and electrons. It is very readable and easy to follow.