15-Minute STEM is an inspiration. Its 40 hands-on activities are well-structured and, more importantly, intriguing. They are designed to capture the imagination, and succeed in doing so - my particular favourites are the Catapult Challenge and Rocket Racers (although this may simply reflect my desire to send things hurtling across a random space). The -˜What are we learning?' sections in each activity also allow teachers to make connections to the curriculum, and enable the learners to understand the ideas behind the activities.
The book itself has a serious purpose, too - which is to engage and educate children in STEM education. This intention is clearly articulated in the introduction, which serves as a guide to effective practice in STEM. Here the exhortation to start with a question, expose the children to the resources and allow them to lead the exploration mirrors current thinking on the importance of engaging children in learning with a real purpose, and trusting them to lead elements of their own work.
The STEM jobs glossary illuminates another key purpose of the book - introducing children to the huge range of potential routes that are open to those interested in solving problems and tackling challenges. Certainly, inspiring an initial interest in STEM in primary school may be one of the key ways by which we can ensure that we have people interested in such work in the future.