Elara, STEM Girl

Children - Picture Book
38 Pages
Reviewed on 05/28/2018
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Leela is an 18 year old High School Student who has always been inspired by STEM- Science,Technology, Engineering and Math. When Leela helped her 8 year old sister who was encountering the same issues and stereotypes that she had faced, she realized that many young girls would likely face those challenges alone and that is how the children's book Elara, STEM Girl came to be. Leela is an aspiring Aerospace Engineer and will be attending Purdue University Fall 2018.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Sarah Westmoreland for Readers' Favorite

Named after one of the planet Jupiter’s moons, Elara was most definitely born to be a STEM girl! What’s a STEM girl, you ask? Well, a STEM girl is a girl who loves all things STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). That doesn’t mean that Elara doesn’t also like to do girly things, like have tea parties or pretend to be a princess. It just means that Elara can also have fun doing things like making baking soda volcanoes, building catapults out of popsicle sticks and marshmallows, and even building a real, live, working robot! Elara loves her robotics club. There’s only one things that she wishes was different: Elara would love for there to be more STEM girls involved! And she has a plan to make that happen... Will she be able to prove to her friends that STEM is every bit as fun as more traditional “girly” things? There’s only one way to find out!

Elara, STEM Girl by Leela Ayyar is exactly the kind of book that the children’s section needs. It shows little girls how much fun all things STEM can be, without detracting at all from how much fun playing with dolls and having tea parties is! After all, who said a little girl can’t be a princess and a scientist? Or a ballerina and a robotics expert? Even better than just showing Elara’s contagious love for STEM, Leela Ayyar also included a lot of interesting quotes from famous female STEM experts from around the world, as well as short biographies for each one of them at the very end. How cool!

Lisa McCombs

Elara is a typical girl. She likes dolls. She likes to dress up. She enjoys the niceties of being a female. Elara is also a trailblazer when it comes to what are historically considered male interests. Elara loves S.T.E.M.: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics which are typically “boy” subjects. Elara learned early in life of the fun to be found in these school subjects and how entertaining it can be to incorporate them in everyday activities; such as the birthday party she planned around interactive events instead of the typical 'pin the tail on the donkey' games. When Elara realizes that her friends are excited about building catapults, making slime, and going on scavenger hunts, she is thrilled.

Elara, STEM Girl by Leela Ayyar is a delightful story that unites girls with the stereotypical male interests of the sciences. As a true testament to twenty-first century learning, Leela Ayyar’s colorfully illustrated story book is interlaced with strong quotes and words of encouragement for young girls interested in S.T.E.M. With S.T.E.M. subjects a major focus of the twenty-first century teacher curriculum, the female inclusion in this area of study is on the rise. The evolution of female career possibilities is a major theme of Elara, STEM Girl that children of both genders will enjoy, yet is exclusive to women of S.T.E.M. After introducing the world of robotics and technology to the reader, Ayyar concludes with an historical selection of female chemists, doctors and astronauts, sure to ignite interest in any young girl inclined toward the sciences.

Jack Magnus

Elara, STEM Girl is a children’s educational picture book written by Leela Ayyar. Elara was named after one of the moons of Jupiter, but she really prefers to be known as STEM girl. Elara is fascinated by all aspects of STEM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. While she wishes other girls also enjoyed STEM, she’s perfectly happy designing and building things, especially her robot. Elara had some problems getting into arithmetic until her dad explained how it simply takes some practice and dedication -- then it gets easy! When Elara’s birthday comes around, instead of a princess party, she and her mom set up a STEM party, and it rocks. Her girlfriends love building the catapults that shoot marshmallows and have a grand time making slime. Elara loves sharing the fun aspects of STEM with her friends.

Leela Ayyar’s children’s educational picture book, Elara, STEM Girl, is a marvelous resource for encouraging young girls to explore STEM subjects. While following Elara’s days at school and in robotics club, the reader gets to learn about women scientists and their contributions, including Marie Curie, Sally Ride and Shirley Ann Jackson. Ayyar’s suggestion of STEM themed parties is brilliant! Who wouldn’t love to create slime, craft catapults from ice cream sticks and explore the many marvelous and simple science fair projects that make science fun and accessible. The illustrations that accompany each page work so well with the story line. They show Elara considering the infinite possibilities available to her and all girls in STEM fields. Ayyar even addresses the dreaded math issue in a positive and affirming way. This book should be on the reading lists of all little girls out there as we’re missing out on a lot of great ideas and inventions when girls are intimidated by or are fearful of getting involved in STEM subjects. Elara, STEM Girl is most highly recommended.