The STEAM Children’s Book Prize

The STEAM Children’s Book Prize

‘from imagination to reality’


The BIS in partnership with UCLan Publishing are pleased to announce a new children’s book prize – The STEAM Children’s Book Prize.

The aim of the prize is to highlight the importance of STEAM subjects and praise the publishing industry and authors for championing them. By providing children with engaging, fun, and exciting literature, they’ll hopefully be inspired to take an interest in STEAM further into their education.

There are so many wonderful titles out there that provide the encouragement we desperately need, they may indeed bridge the skills gap we are currently experiencing in the UK.

This will be the first prize to concentrate solely on STEAM in children’s books and will cover all ages from 0 to young adults, as well as all genres and subject matters. We are now taking submissions to consider for short listing. The shortlist will be announced in February 2019, followed by the category winners and overall winner being announced at UCLan’s Lancashire Science Festival in June 2019. The shortlist will be judged by Jake Hope (Children’s Book Consultant), Amy McKay (SLYA winner 2016), Lucas Maxwell (SLYA winner 2017), Rod Woodcock (Vice President of BIS), Chris Welch (Professor of Astronautics), Flow Adepoju (Entrepreneur and Founder of MDMFlow) and one judge still to be announced.

Please find information on eligibility and the application process here.

Meet the Judges

Jake Hope

Jake is a freelance reading development and children’s book consultant. He reviews for numerous publications, has judged the Carnegie, Greenaway, Blue Peter and Diverse Voices awards and is a passionate advocate and commentator on children’s literature and reading.





Flow Adepoju

Florence Adepoju, better known as ‘Flow’ is a true entrepreneur. At 22 years old and with aBSc (Hons) Cosmetic Science, the trailblazer set up her cult beauty brand MDMflow. With her bold range of lipsticks, inspired by the glamour associated with hip-hop music and street culture, Flow has single handily created one of the most innovative beauty brands in the modern era. It’s clear to see why Forbes included her in their 2018 Top 30 under 30 Podcast series. MDMflow is already stocked in, Harvey Nichols and Nasty Gal and sends a very clear message; be you, loud and proud.

Flow has always had a passion for STEM subjects. She had always planned to be a pharmacist, until a summer job on a make-up counter, allowed her to realise she could combine her two passions – science and make up and become a cosmetic scientist. After seeing a youtube video of cosmetic science students at the London College of Fashion formulating foundations, Flow made a passionate application for the BSc (Hons) Cosmetic Science and she was offered a place on the course on the spot. 

Since launching MDMflow, Flow is on a mission to address the lack of women in science and to promote STEM careers to school girls across the UK. She was recently selected as a UN Mentor for International Day of the Girl Child. As well as increasing the numbers of women in STEM careers, she is extremely passionate about promoting diversity in the beauty industry. Her dream is “that in the next 10 years, the beauty industry will be so transformed that anyone from anywhere can walk into a store and everything will be available to them” and when Lena Dunham ‘fangirls’ you and orders every single one of your lipsticks, you know you’re on to something good…

Lucas Maxwell

Lucas has been working with teens in Libraries for ten years. Originally from Nova Scotia, Canada, he worked for five years as a Teen Services Librarian in the Public Library system before moving to the UK and becoming a High School Librarian. In 2013 he was named the UK’s School Librarian of the Year by the School Library Association. In his spare time he writes for Book Riot and School Library Journal. He is very excited to be judging the prize as he loves celebrating great literature and sharing them with his students and colleagues.



Amy McKay

CILIP CKG Co-ordinator and School Librarian of the Year 2016. Amy found her vocation by surprise when she took a library post at a secondary school simply to gain some school-based experience before completing a PGCE. Within days, however, she knew librarianship was the career truly meant for her and since then, she’s never looked back.

Being librarian at Corby Business Academy is an incredibly varied job and no two days are the same. Having co-written the school’s literacy policy, Amy is responsible for delivering a rolling programme of library lessons to all Year 7 and 8 pupils. She also teaches information skills to Year 12 including academic performance, bibliographies and academic honesty and to KS4 in IGCSE English classes and works regularly with adults who form part of the wider school community.

rodRod Woodcock

Vice President of the British Interplanetary Society (BIS). Joined the Society in 1972 and became a fellow in 1984. Member of the BIS governing council and the history committee. Started his working career as an aeronautical engineer, left in 1968 to set but his own business which he ran successfully before selling the business in 2008. Now retired as well as being involved with the BIS he works as a volunteer at the Avro Heritage museum giving cockpit guides on the very aircraft he worked on while working at Avro aircraft company. He is very excited about being involved with the judging panel as he is very keen to fire the imagination of young people, they are this country’s future.


Chris Welch

Chris is a Professor of Astronautics at the International Space University in Strasbourg France. He says “My interest in space was launched by the Apollo11 moon landing in 1969 and was fuelled by a steady diet of reading science-fiction as a teenager. I’ve recently managed to combine space and the written word by sending a poem I have written to the International Space Station and am really looking forward to reading all the entries to the competition.”



For general enquiries please email Hazel Holmes – [email protected]


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