MAD ABOUT SCIENCE

Stirling Times - - Lifestyle -

STIR­LING mum Rina Fu wants young chil­dren to en­gage with science and to give them a glimpse into the life of a bio­med­i­cal re­search sci­en­tist through her first chil­dren’s book.

Dr Fu teaches bio­med­i­cal sci­ences at Curtin and Edith Cowan uni­ver­si­ties, and worked in a pathol­ogy lab be­fore com­plet­ing her doc­tor­ate on com­bat­ing malaria drug re­sis­tance at the Uni­ver­sity of Western Aus­tralia.

Her re­search took her from state-of-the-art labs in Cleve­land to the jun­gles of Pa­pua New Guinea, win­ning her the John Fred­er­ick Adrian Sprent Medal from the Aus­tralian So­ci­ety of Par­a­sitol­ogy.

She wrote and il­lus­trated My Mad Sci­en­tist Mummy while com­ing out of post-natal de­pres­sion in Au­gust 2016. The book, which tar­gets kids aged three to eight, fea­tures a sci­en­tist mum who takes her daugh­ter into a lab­o­ra­tory with ex­otic equip­ment.

The mother of two said the idea of her book came from a trip to a li­brary with her son, who had a hear­ing im­pair­ment, and found there were not a lot of science books for young chil­dren.

“I thought it would be nice to share my pas­sion and work with the lit­tle ones; you usu­ally ei­ther bring them to work or you can share them with a story for­mat,” Dr Fu said. “It was the il­lus­tra­tions that took for­ever; I had to learn how to draw dig­i­tally.”

With Aus­tralia mak­ing science, tech­nol­ogy, engi­neer­ing and maths stud­ies a pri­or­ity, Dr Fu aims to fil­ter her book, teach­ing ma­te­ri­als and song I’m a Lit­tle Sci­en­tist into schools.

Visit https://ri­nafu stu­dio.wixsite.com/ri­nafu.

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Dr Rina Fu with Kazran (4). Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son

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