Below, we’ve listed 10 Award Winning Science Books for High School Students (in alphabetical order). A few are books you’re probably familiar with, by authors you probably know. Others may be entirely new to you. All are interesting – and perfect for the high schooler in your life!
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Our 2017 list of Award Winning Science Books for High School Students
A Brief History Of Time written by Stephen Hawking
Stephen Hawking’s book explores profound questions such as: How did the universe begin—and what made its start possible? Does time always flow forward? Is the universe unending—or are there boundaries? Are there other dimensions in space? His answers are told in language we all can understand.
Born Free written by Joy Adamson
Over fifty years ago Joy Adamson first introduced the story of Elsa the lioness, whom she had rescued as an orphaned cub, and raised at her home in Kenya. But as Elsa had been born free, Joy made the decision that she must be returned to the wild when she was old enough to fend for herself.
Here is the chance to rediscover the original story in this 50th anniversary edition.
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed written by Jared Diamond
Environmental damage, climate change, globalization, rapid population growth, and unwise political choices have all been factors in the demise of societies around the world, but some found solutions and persisted.
The book Collapse moves from the Polynesian cultures on Easter Island to the flourishing American civilizations of the Anasazi and the Maya and finally to the doomed Viking colony on Greenland. Similar problems face us today and have already brought disaster to Rwanda and Haiti.
Einstein’s Dreams, written by Alan Lightman
This novel fictionalizes Albert Einstein as a young scientist who is troubled by dreams as he works on his theory of relativity in 1905. The book consists of 30 chapters, each exploring one dream about time. Some scenarios involve exaggerations of true phenomena related to relativity, and some are fantastical. All are interesting!
More Award Winning Science Books High School Students
Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race written by Margot Lee Shetterly
Before John Glenn orbited the earth, or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as “human computers” used pencils, slide rules and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space. Among these problem-solvers were a group of exceptionally talented African American women, some of the brightest minds of their generation. Originally relegated to teaching math in the South’s segregated public schools, they were called into service during the labor shortages of World War II, when America’s aeronautics industry was in need of anyone who had the right stuff.
And of course, your teen can watch the movie too. (You might want your teen to read the book and then watch the movie – and compare the two.)
In the Shadow of Man written by Jane Goodall
This is the world-renowned primatologist, conservationist, and humanitarian Dr. Jane Goodall’s account of her life among the wild chimpanzees of Gombe.
Accompanied by only her mother and her African assistants, she set up camp in the remote Gombe Stream Chimpanzee Reserve in Tanzania. For months the project seemed hopeless; out in the forest from dawn until dark, she had but fleeting glimpses of frightened animals. But gradually she won their trust and was able to record previously unknown behavior, such as the use—and even the making— of tools. As she came to know the chimps as individuals, she began to understand their complicated social hierarchy and observed many extraordinary behaviors, which have forever changed our understanding of the connection between humans and chimpanzees.
If interested, your teens can read other Jane Goodall books as well.
Storm in a Teacup: The Physics Of Everyday Life written by Helen Czerski
This book is a lively, entertaining, and richly informed introduction to physics. The author links ordinary objects and occurrences, like popcorn popping, coffee stains, and fridge magnets, to big ideas like climate change, the energy crisis, and innovative medical testing. She provides answers to vexing questions such as – How do ducks keep their feet warm when walking on ice? Why does it take so long for ketchup to come out of a bottle? Why does milk, when added to tea, look like billowing storm clouds? And more!
Even More Award Winning Science Books for High Schoolers
Stuff Matters: Exploring the Marvelous Materials That Shape Our Man-Made World written by Mark Miodownik
Why is glass see-through? What makes elastic stretchy? Why does any material look and behave the way it does? These are the sorts of questions that materials scientist Mark Miodownik constantly asks himself.
In this book, Miodownik explores the materials he encounters in a typical morning, from the steel in his razor to the foam in his sneakers. Stuff Matters will make your teen see stuff in a whole new way.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks written by Rebecca Skloot
Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. In fact, if you could pile all HeLa cells ever grown onto a scale, they’d weigh more than 50 million metric tons—as much as a hundred Empire State buildings. Her cells were vital in developing the polio vaccine, uncovering secrets of cancer, understanding the atom bomb’s effects and more.
And always a plus – your kids can watch the movie!
The Story of Science written by Joy Hakim
In the three-book The Story of Science series, Joy Hakim narrates the evolution of scientific thought from ancient times to the present. Hakim spotlights the achievements of some of the world’s greatest scientists and encourages a similar spirit of inquiry in readers. The books include hundreds of color photographs, charts, maps, and diagrams; informative sidebars; suggestions for further reading; and excerpts from the writings of great scientists.
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