Dr Michelle Dickinson wants everyone, everywhere to enjoy a meaningful relationship with STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics).
She introduced her book and her mission to a sold-out crowd of kids and whānau. If you missed her on Sunday, get ready for Nanogirl Live! “Out of this World!” – a Live Science Spectacular on at the Isaac Theatre Royal on Saturday 17 November 2018. Her bus is Paul McCartney's old tour bus rigged out in a science-focused fashion, and it will be coming to Christchurch in a Hercules plane. There's also a TV show Nanogirl and the Imaginauts coming soon to the TVNZ app HeiHei.
Michelle explained her mission - "teaching kids to have fun experiences with different technology". Her nanotechnology career has involved cool jobs such as designing concept cars that will tap you on the shoulder if there is a cyclist behind you, and know if you are feeling a bit bleak and make your commute home go past the beach. She also helped devise a 6 nanometre wide coating for iPhones to protect the screen.
Then she talked about her new book The Kitchen Science Cookbook. It came from the idea that you can sneak science into a recipe book:
Home is where the learning is probably more powerful.
The book took three years of experimenting, and a determination that the recipes be achievable for all families, using what is in the kitchen. After shopping it to publishers who wanted to skimp on production values (she wanted the ribbon/bookmark in her book), she made the decision to self publish. Michelle used Facebook to solicit recipe testers. People were keen as. A Kickstarter campaign raised the necessary money ($85,462). Her father in law took the photos.
10,000 books have been sold already, and for each one sold, one goes to a needy family or school and there is a connection to organisations like Big Brothers, Big Sisters, and Pillars (for families with parents in prison).
Next up, it was kitchen science ahoy - and kids got to head up on stage to be part of the experiments. Can crushers, unicorn noodles, edible earthworms, chicken in a cup, centrifugal force - it was brilliant to watch, and kids had their hands in the air, desperate to get up on stage and do some kitchen science.
The question from the audience were the tops:
How long have you been a scientist?
I have been a scientist since I was 8.
What is your absolute fave experiment?
Ones where I blow things up, like the 66 gallon drum crush.
And my personal fave:
Can you please come to my birthday?
Yup, Nanogirl is a rock star.
- Find works by Michelle Dickinson in our collection
- Follow our coverage of WORD Christchurch Festival 2018
- Visit Dr Michelle Dickinson's website
- Visit the Nanogirl website
- Follow Dr Michelle Dickinson @medickinson on Twitter
- Nanogirl Live! “Out of this World!” – a Live Science Spectacular is on at the Isaac Theatre Royal on Saturday 17 November 2018.