Five people who used maths to change the world for Years 1 and 2

The stories of inventors, innovators and trailblazers can inspire us to try new things or offer a new perspective. Introduce your young child to the wide and wonderful possibilities of maths and empower them to learn more through the stories of these five mavericks.

3 books - Nothing Stopped Sophie, Counting the Stars and On a Bean of Light. 3 books - Nothing Stopped Sophie, Counting the Stars and On a Bean of Light.

Grace Hopper: Queen Of Computer Code

Written by Laurie Wallmark and illustrated by Katy Wu.

As far as revolutionary people go, Grace Hopper is definitely an inspiring one. Digital illustrations and an easy-to-read story bring this picture book biography to life. Grace was an inventor, software tester, avid reader, naval leader, mentor, rule breaker and chance taker - and served an almost 50-year career in the navy where she used mathematics to shape computer science as we know it today.

Counting The Stars: The Story Of Katherine Johnson, NASA Mathematician

Written by Lesa Cline-Ransome and illustrated by Raúl Colón.

At NASA, Katherine Johnson was one of the incredible mathematicians known as the “human computers”. This inspiring picture book follows her journey to become a mathematician who helped astronauts make it to the moon when she worked out the maths behind launching a rocket into space. Her story, and how she used maths to change the world, is one for the ages.

Nothing Stopped Sophie: The Story Of Unshakable Mathematician Sophie Germain

Written by Cheryl Bardoe and illustrated by Barbara McClintock.

Introduce your child to 18th century mathematician Sophie Germain, a trailblazer who defied the odds to study mathematics (in secret) and dedicated six years of her life to a theorem to work out patterns of vibrations. This equation laid the groundwork for modern architecture and construction - so there’s a lot to thank Sophie for! This is a tale of resilience, breaking boundaries and passion.

Stephen Hawking: My First Stephen Hawking

Written by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara and illustrated by Matt Hunt.

In this sweet picture book from the Little People, Big Dreams series, your child will be introduced to famed theoretical physicist and author Stephen Hawking. While he was never considered the “top” of his class, his passion, dedication and ideas opened up doors to the top universities in England. This book is suitable for young children and offers awe-inspiring messages from the life and career of one of the world’s most influential figures in maths and physics.

On A Beam Of Light: A Story Of Albert Einstein

Written by Jennifer Berne and illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky.

Einstein reportedly said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge”. This sweet and inspiring picture book tells his story: A young boy with an endless fascination for the world around him, who overcomes challenges and refuses to give up on problems. The story of Einstein reminds us that sometimes, when you persevere with maths, you can use it to help change the world.

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