And the winner is….!

This week the winners of The STEAM School’s Battle of the Books were announced to cheers from all! There were so many amazing titles to choose from and many of the races were really tight.

In the Picture Book category, the final two contestants were Pete the Cat vs The Pigeon Needs A Bath, and the winner is The Pigeon Needs A Bath!

In the Juvenile Fiction category, the choice came down to Wonder vs Percy Jackson. Percy Jackson in the semi finals had won against both Holes and The Harry Potter series after a tie the previous week against Harry Potter. The final winner is Percy Jackson! Possibly many new fans created after seeing the musical hosted at our local high school earlier this month!

In the Graphic Novel category, the final contest came down to the Wings of Fire graphic novel vs My Hero Academia. There was some minor grumbling when Wings of Fire appeared in two different categories but it is a wild favorite here at STEAM School and was declared the final winner in this category!

Finally, in our Young/Adult Fiction competition, the choice came down to Norse Mythology vs Mortal Engines but STEAM students were split evenly in their voting and we had a tie!

Here are the brand new books purchased for our school library.

Looking forward to next year and hearing about all the wonderful books the kids read between now and then!

STEAM School Battle of the Books Finals

STEAM School students began the final round of voting this week. Choices have been tough and races have been tight!

On Tuesday mornings, students move slowly through the hall checking each board to see which books have made it to the next round. There’s been a mixture of surprise and excitement for the wins and some disappointment for the losses.

Its definitely been very exciting and fun for the teachers to hear the students talk about their favorite books with their friends and get excited about new books! Winners will be announced next Tuesday and Thursday and the winning books will be purchased for the STEAM School Library.

STEAM School 2023 Battle of the Books

STEAM School students nominated nearly 100 books for our second annual Battle of the Books! Wow! We narrowed it down to 36 books and beginning this Tuesday we will begin voting on our favorite picture books, juvenile fiction books, graphic novels, and young adult fiction books.

Nominees for the 1st Round of Voting

Picture BooksJuvenile FictionGraphic NovelsYoung/Adult Fic
Cookie’s Week vs
Pigeon Needs a Bath
Fancy Nancy vs WonderDog Man Series vs
Calvin & Hobbes
A Promised Land vs
The Hate U Give
Dragon’s Love Tacos vs The Very Hungry CaterpillarDiary of A Wimpy Kid Series vs Wings of Fire SeriesWings of Fire Graphic Novel vs Animal Crossing SeriesNorse Mythology vs Aurora Rising
There’s a Bear On My Chair vs Pete The CatSisters Ever After vs HolesMy Hero Academia Series vs The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the HorseThe Giver vs Mortal Engines
Narwhal Unicorn of the Sea vs Mr Putter and Tabby Walk the DogHarry Potter Series vs Percy Jackson seriesThe Runaway Princess vs Warrior Cats Graphic NovelReady Player One vs Hunger Games

There were so many wonderful books nominated that didn’t make the cut. Below is the full list of STEAM School students favorite books to read.

STEAM Students Recommended Reading

Picture BooksGraphic NovelsJuvenile FictionYA/AF
Narwhal Unicorn of the Sea by Ben ClantonPower Rangers Graphic Novel Series by Kyle HigginsXander and the Rainbow Barfing Unicorn series by Matthew ManningThe Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
There’s a Bear on my Chair by Ross CollinsWarrior Cats Graphic Novel by Erin HunterAru Shah series by Roshani ChokshiThe Giver by Lois Lowry
The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog by Mo WillemsWings of Fire Graphic Novel by Tui T SutherlandGreen Ember by SD SmithMortal Engines by Philip Reeve
Fred is that you? By Mavis SmithThe Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse by Charlie MackeseyWonderstruck by Brian SelznickThe Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Cookie’s Week by Cindy WardThe Runaway Princess by Johann TroianowskiThe Growly series by Erin Ulrich and Phillip UlrichWorld War Z by Max Brooks
Bootsie Barker Bites by Barbara BottnerMy Hero Academia Series by Kohei HorikoshiMinecraft BooksReady Player One by Ernest Cline
Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed by Mo WillemDog Man series by Dav PilkeyCaptain Underpants by Dave PilkeyThe Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Let’s Go For A Drive by Mo WillemsFive Worlds by Mark Siegel and Alexis SiegelMinecraft Woodsword Chronicles by Nick EliopulusThe Iliad by Homer
Fletcher and the Springtime Blossoms by Julia RawlinsonZita the Spacegirl by Ben HatkeDragon Kingdom of Wrenly by Jordan QuinnA Promised Land by Barack Obama
Pigeon Needs a Bath by Mo WillemsCalvin and Hobbes by Bill WattersonWild Kratts booksNorse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
Pete the Cat by James Dean and Kimberly DeanFoxtrot by Bill AmendPercy Jackson (series) – The Lightening Thief by Rick RiordanThe Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Dragons Love Tacos by Adam RubinCat Kid Comic Club Series by Dav PilkeyBarbie BooksAurora Rising by Amy Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Dino Trux by Chris GallAnimal Crossing series by Kokonasu RumbaFancy Nancy by Jane O’ConnerThe Storm Light Archive Series by Brandon Sanderson
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric CarlePea, Bee & Jay by Brian SmithWings of Fire Series by Tui T SutherlandGregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack KeatsElla and Owen by Jaden KentUltimate Book of Home Plans by Editors of Creative Homeowner
Monster Trucks (Step Into Reading) by Susan E GoodmanZoey and Sassafras series by Asia CitroPools and Spas by Fran J Donegan
If You Give a Dog a Donut by Laura NumeroffDragon Masters by Tracy WestHot Tubs, Saunas and Steam Baths by Alan Sanderfoot
Mr. Putter and Tabby Walk the Dog by Cynthia RylantMouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly ClearyHunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Perfect Nest by Catherine FriendThe Last Firehawk series by Katrina Charman
Forgotten Fairy Tales of Brave and Brilliant Girls (Illustrated Story Collection by Various Authors)Harry Potter series by JK Rowling
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgeson Burnett
Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones
Explorer Academy by Trudi Trueit
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
Magic Tree House Series by Mary Pope Osborne
Peter Pan by JM Barrie
Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series by Jeff Kinney
The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde
Big Nate series by Lincoln Pierce
Warrior Cat Series by Erin Hunter
The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan
Fazbear Frights Series by Scott Cawthon
Junie B Jones by Barbara Park
Nancy Drew by Carolyn Keene
Car Science by Richard Hammond
Wonder by RJ Palacio
Minecraft: The Island by Max Brooks
A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Holes by Louis Sachar
The Story of Diva and Flea by Mo Willems
Sisters Ever After seriers by Leah Cypress
Be Real, Macy Weaver by Lakita Wilson

Meet STEAM Teacher: Beth Herz

We continue to get to know some of our fabulous STEAM teachers. Today we’ll introduce you to Beth Herz. Beth is is teaching Coding and Robotics classes at The STEAM School, and also leads the Yoga and Board Games electives.

How did you first find out about the STEAM School?

BH: I learned of the STEAM School through its founder, Elena McIntosh. Our paths had crossed a year or two before, and I learned through a Facebook posting that she was starting a cooperative school. I went to a meet up to learn more about it but decided at first not to participate. We were comfortable in our routine, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to change it. About three months after the meetup though, I learned of the Coding and Robotics class being offered. My oldest son has a strong interest in robots so we decided to come on the day that the robots class was offered. We were almost immediately pulled in by the sense of community we received from the school, and by the next semester, we were fully involved all three days.

How have you been involved in the past, and what role(s) are you filling this year?

BH: Previously, I have assisted and lead in the nursery. Last semester I filled in as the Coding and Robotics, and Kindergarten teacher, and led the Handworks and Book Club electives. This year I will be continuing as the Coding and Robotics teacher, and leading the Yoga and Board Games electives.

What is your favorite thing about teaching at STEAM?

BH: Seeing the kids share knowledge with each other. Whether it’s sharing how something works or how to draw a character, it’s always gratifying.

What is your background/experience with the topics you’ll be teaching?

BH: My background is not in tech! I filled in to teach Coding and Robotics out of necessity in spring of 2019. My children are fascinated with robotics and I wanted to ensure this class remained available. I also knew just a little bit of how the Lego WeDo 2.0 kits worked from filling in as an assistant teacher when needed. Over the past semester and summer, I’ve learned quite a bit more about how the kits work and found many resources offered through Lego and Scratch Jr for how and why to teach kids robotics and coding.

Any sneak peeks you can share about what the learners in your class might be working on this semester?

BH: This semester we’ll be using more of the tools offered through the Lego WeDo 2.0 app. We know how to build the robots and we know how to code the robots. There is a Document tool that we haven’t utilized yet. My hope is that by utilizing this tool, students can more easily record their processes and share what they learn with each other.

Tell us a little about your personal interests/hobbies.

BH: I like to read fiction, and enjoy doing handcrafts. I’ve crocheted for almost 20 years and have just picked up cross stitch and embroidery over the past year. I occasionally practice yoga and play guitar.

What is one goal you have for yourself and/or your students in this school year?

BH: One goal I have for myself and my students is to become more familiar with, and comfortable using, the vocabulary of coding and robotics.

A Great End To STEAM’s School Year

If you attended STEAM’s end of year Student Showcase, you may have seen artwork, sculpture, robots, creative stories, informational displays, comics, and more. STEAM students each decked out their personal display areas with favorite creations from the 2018-2019 school year and it looked something like this:

I was able to interview several students at the Student Showcase and find out the answer to this question:

What was your favorite thing about STEAM School this year?

I told them it could be ANYTHING, and here were some of the responses:

“Baking sugar cookies.”

“The forts!”


“Coding and Robotics class.”

“Making boats out of cardboard and duct tape.”

“Swinging in the hammock.”

“Science…and all the nature!”

“Programming with Lego WeDo”

“Making the yearbook.”

“Having lunch and being with my friends.”



Have a great summer and we’ll see you in September!