We believe the best way to get our kids into science is to roll up our sleeves and do it together. Did you know that American literacy rates are 99.8%, yet barely half of Americans know that the electron is smaller than an atom, and 1 in 4 Americans believe that the Sun orbits the Earth.
Why is that? We sit on the couch every night for years reading books to our kids. We don’t set them up with a book and expect to be able to walk away. We don’t complain how we are awful readers, or that we hated reading in high school. We show enthusiasm, we share a love with them, and they, in turn, pick up on that love. They learn to read, and often, they love to read. If we want our kids to be able to navigate an ever increasing STEM centered world, we need to set them up with the right tools to succeed. We can’t set them up and walk away, and we can’t tell them we hate science.
We have to roll up our sleeves and fake it until they make it. We have to make science as much of a family affair as reading. That’s where Rosie Research comes in. With a loveable character always on an adventure of solving problems and engineering solutions kids learn true inquiry based science. With fun stories, creative drawings and well thought out lab books your kids (and you) will happily learn science that is often seen in college text books. Imagine learning how circuits work while running an obstacle course or discovering force diagrams while engineering pirate ships. We take the fun and apply it to the hard science they will see. All that fun also means a smile on your face – because who doesn’t love saving time travelers with marbles and paint or learning optics with Jell-O?
Rosie was dreamt up on a long New Year’s drive. A bored back seat kid wanted to hear a story about a colorful moon. Erica used her scientific background to make up something on the spot. Soon a world of mystery, optics, lasers and a colored moon was created.
After telling the story dozens of times, Rosie needed a new mystery. Before you know it she ran into the Dark Matter Croonies. She trekked to mines in Ely, MN to sort out her friend, who attracted all sorts of matter. And, of course, we can’t forget about the time she helped her friend who lived in the A quadrant of DiNA city. Turns out overnight genetic mutations are no fun to live with!
Science research isn’t just for professors or graduate students. Science for kids is just as essential. Rosie aims to bring the magic of storytelling to the fascinating world of research. Come on! Let’s Sleuth through Science together!
Dr. Erica has a B.S in Engineering Physics and a M.S. in Physics from Miami University. During her time there she worked in a lab creating a Near Field Scanning Optical Microscope and worked on High Pressure Optical Microscopy with Dr. Paul Urayama. Her thesis defined a point spread function that would allow future high pressure imaging of cells in glass capillaries.
After completing her masters, she joined Boston University for her Ph.D. With a love for physics and a desire to apply her physics to biology she joined the Molecular Biophysics Lab under Dr. Kenneth Rothcshild. Her doctorate work was on the mechanisms photo-active proteins use to transport charge through cellular membranes. Dr. Erica discovered a mutant, Archearhodopsin3 D95N, would fluoresce when membrane potential changed, potentially allowing a new way to detect neural firing. Research from this lab and her thesis is currently being used in the field of Optogenetics (think Jedi mind control with light).
This extensive scientific background has helped Dr. Erica create Rosie Research. For example, The Case of the Dark Matter Croonies is based on her summer spent descending into the mines in Ely, MN and working on the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search.
Now Dr. Erica aims to bring the world of research to the next generation through colorful storytelling. Science for kids has always been a passion. With Rosie Research, science for kids is now a reality.
Evan has done just about everything, from volunteering in India to helping the homeless, from studying conflict resolution to Landscape Architecture. With Dr. Erica, he’s started a few businesses and coached hundreds of athletes, but what he is most proud of is being a father to our beautiful lab assistants. He comes into Rosie Research as an idea guy, brainstorming problems for Rosie to solve, stories for her to work through and acts as editor in chief for the stuff that should be axed. His other main role is as a knowledge anchor, pulling Dr. Erica back to earth when she expects kids (or their parents) to instantly understand what “ray tracing” means or how to correctly determine the directionality of Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs).
As the sacrificial dad, he’s often the first normal person to see and review the Rosie labs Dr. Erica creates, and you should make sure to thank his bombarded brain cells for bearing those full frontal assaults. Beyond being the parent guinea pig, Evan also helps out with the design, website, video and media, making sure things work so Dr. Erica can focus on creating these amazing labs and activities.
While our programs have run in schools, libraries and at local observatories, we have two main product testers at the Rosie Research Headquarters. Isabella is a rocking rolling tenacious six year old with an appetite for stories and science. When she isn’t on the playground she’s asking for a science experiment. Usually, she is also begging to hear another Rosie Research story. Georgia is a messy inquisitive mini-Erica who is always testing the boundaries of our lab setups, ideas and investigations.
The first Rosie Research story was designed by Isabella. On a long car ride she asked to hear a story about a man who could color the moon. Moments after the story, Rosie Research was born.
Isabella and Georgia are now the guinea pigs for our science units. So far, they have not grown any extra arms… Or been attacked by dark matter croonies. We consider this a win. They are our CEOs of Experiment Design. With these girls at the helm, science for kids is as exciting as ever.