Watch, Read, Explore: STEM for Adults

Up for a challenge? Me too! The 2017 Reading Challenge is here and I am in it to win it. KCLS is introducing 10 to Try, a year-long challenge that encourages us to connect with other readers as we explore new reading categories. There is also an exciting grand prize on the table: tickets to the KCLS Foundation's 2018 Literary Lions Gala!

For this reading challenge, there is no need to limit yourself to books when you can take full advantage of the FREE events, materials, and online services that the King County Library system has to offer. This month, I'm focusing on STEM- Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Here are some great finds for your STEM discovery.

What to Read

STEM nonfiction

Astronaut in a white spacesuit floating in space with plant earth in the background.Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach

The author of Stiff and Gulp explores the science behind the challenges of space travel. With her usual humor, Mary Roach attempts to satisfy our curiosity regarding astronaut life by answering questions about the psychological and physiological effects of being in space, cadavers and animal testing, daily living, and more.

Ever wonder how scientists combat challenges of war like fatigue, heat, and panic? Check out Mary Roach's newest novel Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War.

Mary Roach is a great choice for readable nonfiction that tackles the sometimes mundane, often gross, and always interesting science behind death, space, sex, and digestion.

STEM fiction

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Hunger Games meets Ender's Game meets Game of Thrones; does it get any better? This gritty science fiction novel follows Darrow, a Red from the mines of Mars, as he discovers the depth of the injustices inflicted by the ruling class, the Golds. To overthrow the social order and free his people from a caste system based on color, Darrow must become a Gold and enter a war game for survival and prestige at the Institution. Red Rising will immerse you in a world of science, technology, politics, and humanity. And the best part? It is the just the first novel in the Red Rising Trilogy.

Attention audiobook lovers: Tim Gerard Reynolds gives flawless narration for the trilogy, earning Golden Son: Book II of the Red Rising Trilogy a place as a Finalist Title for the 2016 Audio Publishers Association Audie Awards.

To read more about STEM through sci-fi, check out the KCLS Science Fiction booklist.

What to Watch

Access Video

Access Video has thousands of streaming videos and television programs for your instant viewing pleasure. Watch shows from PBS, A&E, HBO, AsapSCIENCE, BBC, and more. Want to learn about engineering disasters, the history of antibiotics, or the strategic architecture of castles? For your dose of STEM, watch History Channel's Modern Marvels on Access Video for interesting topics on science, technology, engineering, and math.


Instantly stream hundreds of movies and television shows—not to mention comic books and music!— with hoopla. For your dose of STEM, browse hoopla's collections of science movies and educational shows for videos from National Geographic, PBS, and the Great Courses series. Enjoy on-the-go with the hoopla digital app!

Check out more of our online services for streaming content on our Movies & TV Online Library page.

What to Explore

Science Online

Science Online gives you access to interactive science experiments and learning modules, biographies, and videos. It's a fantastic resource for students and lifelong learners alike. Science Online also has a Science in the News segment so that you can stay informed of the latest scientific discoveries.

Overwhelmed by new technologies? offers training and tutorials for an impressive variety of devices and software. Follow the Learning Paths or Education & eLearning Training and Tutorials for lessons on navigating your new iPhone, formatting in Excel, or designing your own 3D animated characters.

Visit the 10 to Try page for reading suggestions, author events, and more!

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