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 currently teaches biomedical sciences at Curtin University and Edith Cowan University Joondalup 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, which helped her win the John Frederick Adrian Sprent Medal from the Australian Society of Parasitology.
She wrote and illustrated her storybook, My Mad Scientist Mummy, while she was coming out of post-natal depression in August 2016.
The book, which targets kids aged three to eight years, features a story about a scientist mum who takes her daughter into a laboratory and other rooms 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.
“Letting little ones have a glimpse of what life is like as a scientist and a whole world of fascinating little creatures that we don’t see enough with us.
“It was the illustrations that took forever…I had to learn how to draw digitally, I hadn’t done any art degree and I always liked drawing.”
With Australia making STEM studies a priority, Dr Fu aims to continue her science outreach and filter her book, teaching materials and song, I’m a Little Scientist into schools, in a bid to prepare the next generation for future jobs.
She will be holding a book launch at Scitech on June 24 from 5.30pm to 8.30pm.
She will also be attending the inaugural Malaria World Congress in Melbourne and Australian Society for Microbiology conference in Brisbane in July before returning to Perth to support outreach events during National Science Week in August.
For more information, visit https://rinafustudio.wixsite.com/rinafu.