Remarkable STEM Picture Book That Will Make Kids Persevere

Are you looking for a great STEM picture book? Look no further! The Man Who Made Time Travel, written by Kathryn Lasky, tells the story of a simple man who persevered. It’s great for upper elementary and middle school students.

STEM Picture Book


On October 22, 1707, nearly 2000 sailors were lost off England’s coast. In response, Parliament enacted the Longitude Prize. They offered 20,000 pounds for a reliable method for determining longitude. A clockmaker, John Harrison, believed that an accurate clock could solve the problem. Consequently, he spent 35 years developing five prototypes. Harrison’s perseverance can serve as a model for us all.

Educational Benefits of This Book

  • Design Process – Harrison’s efforts chronicle the design process at its best.
  • Growth Model – In pursuit of the Longitude Prize, Harrison failed time and time again. Did they give up? No. They kept trying until a solution was finally found.
  • Causes and Effects in Life
    • The place and time of a person’s birth open possibilities.
    • Personal skills are built throughout a person’s lifetime.
    • Effort and perseverance affect outcomes.
    • History affects a person’s life. Conversely, a person’s life affects history.

STEM Picture Book - Title Page

Reading the STEM Picture Book

This book is a little long. Therefore, you may want to break it into several sections:

  • Introducing the Longitude Prize
  • Exploring Other Prototypes
  • John Harrison – Curious Boy Who Learned to Make Bells, Pendulums, and Clocks
  • John Harrison and the Longitude Prize

You can discuss events in the book with these questions.

STEM Picture Book - The Man Who Made Time Travel Questions

Analyzing How John Harrison Used the Design Process

Ask students to explain how John Harrison used the design process. To document it, they can construct their own diagrams. As an alternative, have them complete this ready-made organizer.

STEM Picture Book - Design Process Organizer

Extending Exploration

  • Engage your students in the design process. Try this set of 10 Simple STEM Activities.
  • Immerse students in biography. For projects based on student choice, consider Biography Choice Boards.
  • Participate in Mystery Class. This annual contest involves students from around the world. Beginning in January, kids receive weekly clues. First, they figure hours of daylight. This helps them determine latitude. At the equinox, they’re given a clue to determine longitude. In the following weeks, more clues lead them closer and closer. If you’re looking for a way to encourage teamwork and critical thinking, this contest is for you!

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