NAGC Facebook Group Shares Ideas for Space Loving Gifted Kid


The NAGC Facebook Group receives many posts by parents and teachers asking for advice and feedback from group members.  Recently, a father asked about resources for his space-loving son. NAGC has not reviewed any of these items, but we thought people would like to read what group members recommended.


Okay, community polling for book and science folks: my son, 8, is really into space. We built a telescope when he was 6 and now need some recommended reading for him because we can’t keep up. He’s reading at a 6th grade level and similarly math competent. Any suggestions for books at this level where he can start getting into physics principles, more astronomy or rocket science? It would ideally give the principle explanations along with easing into how the math with it works. Or one of those.


Many colleges are starting up gifted student programs where they offer interesting and challenging classes on the weekend or the summer. Duke TIPS program is one [there are several talent search programs across the country]. Stetson University has one that we take our son to. If you are close to Florida, NASA and the Space Center have tons of STEM programs. Talking with parents at places like these is an amazing resource for programs to help gifted kids.

“Wonders of the...” BBC series books like Wonders of the Universe by Brian Cox and Andrew Cohen. The app is wonderful, too.

Not a book, but something he might enjoy--the DoD [Department of Defense] also has the Starbase Program with a free summer program. You my need an IEP or Test Scores to get accomodations for him to be with older students.

My son is heavily into science and space as well. He has read and likes a few books by astronauts. He has Endurance: A Year in Space by Scott Kelly and Ask an Astronaut by Tim Peake. He's almost 13 though and quite an advanced reader so these may be a bit ambitious yet. He also really liked the George's Secret Key series by Lucy and Stephen Hawking for nonfiction entertainment. For computer games, he loves Kerbal Space Program.

These Life of Fred books are great for math.

My son and physicist husband both love PBS Space Time, which we watch on YouTube.

It's Elementary: Putting the Crackle into Chemistry by Robert Winston

Take a look at Space Camp for next summer. My gifted son got a lot out of it especially socially--being surrounded by smart kids with similar interests. Totally different from school where discussing space was not popular.

Get him Astronomy Magazine. My PG kiddo loved that... and it would pique his interest in different directions that he would look up online or at the library. Also, invest in a very good telescope, so he can see what he wants to see. My son started with an Astroscan and multiple lenses at age 8 or 9... but quickly outgrew it, and we bought him a 10" Dobsonian. It's pretty sweet. He's in college now, and he'll still drag it out sometimes when he's home. The Stephen Hawking's kid's books (George's Secret Key to the Universe) and then, later, his adult books were also great.

Carolyn K of recommends Hoagies Gifted Hot Topics! Science Reading List. Lots of great ideas for him now and in the future!