MEET TORY CHRISTIE – SCIENTIST & AUTHOR
1. What exactly it is that you do?
I am a Research Scientist, in geology and hydrology. I study water quality in lakes and streams. But, on the side, I write books for children. Most of my books have a science theme, so these two professions really work well together.
2. How did you come about this passion/profession?
This is a tough one. I found that I did well in math when I was growing up, although I really didn’t know what to do with that. I went to college to study International Management, but then I took a geology course and that is when I realized how much I enjoyed science.
3. Tell us about your family.
I came from a large family just like the McCarthy family in my Curious McCarthy series. A lot of the funny situations from my childhood were the inspiration for those books. My husband and I have three kids. We live in North Dakota.
4. What do you think are three biggest struggles parents today face when teaching their kids about science?
First, I think a lot of parents today aren’t comfortable with science themselves, so they are not sure where to start. Just start with being curious. If your child has a question, google together or look it up in a book.
Second, I think a lot of people have the misconception that only the smartest people can do science. But that’s not true. The best scientists are those that are open minded and curious, not just book smart.
Third, when looking at books, some kids just aren’t interested in non-fiction (although many of them are!). This is part of the reason I chose to write a fictional series about a young scientist. We don’t always have to be so serious. Kids can laugh at the jokes and funny situations and learn a little science at the same time.
5. What are 3 ways a parent can make sure a child imbibes science in their day to day lives?
First, encourage curiosity! About everything. The kitchen can be your lab. Do you ever wonder why apples turn brown once they’re sliced? Or why ice melts? Do some tinkering in the kitchen.
Each book in the Curious McCarthy series has a simple experiment that can be done with items you’ll find in most homes. Second, get outside! Kids are naturally drawn to nature. There is so much to see and do. Try starting a garden.
Third, go get some fun books at the library. Make sure some of these have characters that your children can use as role models. Don’t forget to visit the fiction section, too. There are lots of ways to combine literature with science. For example, have your kids make a map to represent the setting of their favorite story.
Watch more videos from experts to help your kids be thought leaders.