House calls from outer space
Is your kid or kids psyched on space? Do they wonder about the origins of life and the universe? Or maybe they love any kind of science? I'd love to talk to them!

I am a doctor of geology and my specialty is Mars. I have previously worked on lunar geology (studying rocks brought back from the Apollo missions) and volcanoes on Venus. Of course, I also love Earth.

Pre-Covid-19, I visited classrooms to do Mars-related science activities, volunteered at the library, and hung out with my little sister (via Big Brothers Big Sisters of Flagstaff). All of these activities are on hold for the time being. As a temporary replacement, and to help kids/families stuck in their homes, I have started video-chatting with curious young minds 1-2 times per day. I love to hear their questions and play some space-games with them. This was inspired by my past and current participation in the national program Skype A Scientist (check it out: https://www.skypeascientist.com/). Help me help you (and your kids) get through this pandemic together :)

What I can offer:
A 30-minute interactive lesson on Mars (includes two games). Adjustable for grades 2-12.
A 30-minute presentation on the geology of the Moon as seen from Earth.
A 20-minute presentation on how we do geology on Mars.
An informal chat about space, science, etc.
I am most comfortable on Zoom but can also use Skype or other platforms.

I am happy to talk to a single kid, a group of siblings, and can even do video-chats with a few groups at once (if your kid's friends/cousins want to join in from their houses).

I only ask three things:
1) that the kids are willing participants and not forced to talk to me
2) that the kids come prepared with a few questions for me
3) that the parents/kids share my info with any other family/friends they think might be interested.

About me:
I grew up in Los Angeles and attended public schools. Since a very young age, I have loved science and known I wanted to be a scientist. I went to college at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where I got my bachelor's degree in Geosciences and my Masters in Planetary Sciences. While there, I worked in a lab that studied Moon rocks brought back by Apollo astronauts. We specifically studied how these rocks recorded ancient magnetic fields (Did you know the Moon used to have its own magnetic field?). I also spent a summer studying the volcanoes on Venus. After college, I worked for a year as a seismic (earthquake) data analyst at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). I wanted to switch my field of study to include questions related to how and where life started and where else it might exist. For this reason, I started studying Mars. I got my doctorate degree at Caltech where I studied Mars in many ways (using data from satellites, being on the Curiosity rover science team, and studying Martian meteorites in the lab). Mars is a fascinating planet and is relatable to Earth, so I love to talk about it with any willing person. Separately, I've always loved outreach and kids. All throughout college and graduate school I was a volunteer science/math tutor, coached science teams, judged science fairs, and visited classrooms. Find out more about me on my website: http://jnnfr.bz
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