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Laurie wallmark

Children's book author

 

And - Formerly, scientific programmer

I love thinking about the book I might write next that might light a spark under a girl who thought she hated STEM.

What do you do?

I write picture books biographies of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) whose contributions have been overlooked or attributed to others. My books include - Hedy Lamarr's Double Life (coming very soon - in February 2019), Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code and Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine. 

Why did you choose this field?

"I could reach many more girls by writing books."

Ever since I was a child, I’ve loved science and math. As I progressed through college and grad school, I saw there fewer women than men in my classes (biochemistry and information systems). I wanted a way to encourage girls to consider a career in STEM. I realized the best way to do this was by sharing my enthusiasm for these subjects.

What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?

It never occurred to me I could be an author. The younger me though you chose a profession—in my case, scientific programming—and did that for the rest of your life.

Why do you love working in STEM?

STEM is fun and creative. Sharing my love of STEM makes me happy. I love thinking about the book I might write next that might light a spark under a girl who thought she hated STEM.

Best advice for the next generation

Although at times you may be the only woman sitting at the table (I certainly was), know that your knowledge and opinions are as important as anyone else’s is. Speak up!

Role model 

My current role model is the subject of my latest picture book biography, Hedy Lamarr’s Double Life. Hedy showed people that you can be both glamorous and smart. She was considered “the most beautiful woman in the world” and also co-invented the technology that keeps Wi-Fi and Bluetooth from being hacked.