Q&A with Nano Girl, Dr Michelle Dick­in­son

Little Treasures - - GOOD READS -

WHAT IN­SPIRED YOU TO WRITE THE KITCHEN SCI­ENCE COOK­BOOK?

There aren’t a lot of women in sci­ence and I won­dered why. I do a lot of out­reach and at events have had par­ents say ‘I wish I could teach my kids about sci­ence but I was ter­ri­ble at school.’ I won­dered how I could build their con­fi­dence. At a lot of events, cakes were baked and you know, bak­ing is sci­ence. Bak­ing has a method, a re­sult. It’s an ex­per­i­ment. Sci­ence as a lan­guage can be in­tim­i­dat­ing but there are words that mean the same thing. I thought a cook­book would be less alien and in­tim­i­dat­ing. Every recipe be­came an ex­per­i­ment.

WHAT’S YOUR BACK­GROUND?

I’m a nan­otech­nol­o­gist but an en­gi­neer by train­ing.

WERE YOU IN­TER­ESTED IN SCI­ENCE AS A CHILD?

We learnt the sub­ject at school but I be­came in­ter­ested at home. My dad was in elec­tri­cal en­gi­neer­ing and he would have sol­der­ing irons and cir­cuits on the din­ing ta­ble. At school, sci­ence didn’t stand out, but do­ing stuff with Dad and hav­ing qual­ity time with fam­ily sparked my in­ter­est.

YOU’RE BREAK­ING STEREO­TYPES. ANY­ONE CAN BE A SCI­EN­TIST

Peo­ple say they want to buy my book for their kids, but it’s also a book for adults. My goal is to get adults to be con­fi­dent with sci­ence. It’s about break­ing moulds, build­ing con­fi­dence and help­ing peo­ple to learn.

WHAT’S BEEN THE RE­AC­TION?

Kids love the ed­i­ble recipes, like the earth­worms. There’s an an­tic­i­pa­tion of wait­ing for them to set and see­ing the end re­sult. A lot of kids have said that although they didn’t en­joy sci­ence at school, they have en­joyed learn­ing at home.

HOW DID YOU CHOOSE THE RECIPES?

I had 350 recipe ideas to be­gin with. To nar­row it down, I asked friends on so­cial me­dia for sug­ges­tions. I spoke to sci­en­tists, I wanted par­ents’ opin­ions. If they didn’t have an in­gre­di­ent in their pantry, I wouldn’t in­clude it. The cost of in­gre­di­ents doesn’t ex­ceed $1.

FAVOURITE RECIPE?

Ed­i­ble worms. They’re dis­gust­ing, slimy and re­ally fun to make! I also love marsh­mal­low cat­apops – who doesn’t love throw­ing food around? It’s about con­struc­tion and it’s a great way to show con­fi­dence and en­gi­neer­ing – and eat­ing it at the end!

The Kitchen Sci­ence Cook­book By Dr Michelle Dick­in­son Nano Girl Labs, RRP $50

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.