STEM in the Final Four by Meg Marquardt is a middle grade nonfiction book which is part of a series which highlights the role of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) in our favorite sporting events, such as the NCAA Basketball Tournament, often called the Final Four. The book is divided into five chapters. Chapter One is an introduction to the NCAA tournament and contains teasers how the four subjects of STEM might come into play throughout all aspects of the game and tournament. The next four chapters are dedicated to just one area of STEM each.
Because I am a mother of two daughters involved in the STEM field, one a Math teacher and the other involved in Science/medicine, and married to college basketball fan who follows the NCAA tournament carefully each year, I was really delighted with this book. I think any hook to interest students in the STEM fields is worth the effort. The target audience would be 3rd to 5th graders as the chapters were short using a large font. Concepts were introduced in simple terms with the aid of charts or photographs to help with explanations. I read the book quickly but I did pause long enough to read a few excerpts out loud to my husband. All school libraries that have students in this age range should consider purchasing the whole STEM in the Greatest Sports Events series.
What I liked about the book:
- STEM fields take on a new, glossier feel when paired with a favorite sporting event, well known to even children.
- The book did not bog down on long or tedious explanations.
- It used lots of basketball photos and charts to keep even the most reading-resistant sports fan interested.
- There are full resource information available in the back with a short glossary, index, and books to read for further study, making this a good tool for book reports.
What I didn't like about this book:
- Unfortunately for the publisher the book must have been written before the NCAA tournament was canceled in 2020 because they referenced it as if it would soon happen. No one knew 2020 would turn out the way it did.
Source: E-book provided by the publisher.