Aussie STEM Stars by Wild Dingo Press. Fiona Wood:Inventor of spray on skin. Story told by Cristy Burne.

‘Remember’, said Mum, ‘Grasp this nettle and don’t let go’

Wild Dingo Press have created three great books as part of a new series called Aussie STEM stars and the second one up on my blog is: Fiona Wood: Inventor of spray on skin. Story told by Cristy Burne.

Written by Cristy Burne, this book in the Aussie STEM series tells the story of Australian of the Year recipient Fiona Wood and her journey to become not only a surgeon but also an inventor of Spray on skin which has saved so many lives around the world.

We meet Fiona as a young determined girl who lives in a coal dominated village in Yorkshire. Everyone she knows works or has a family member who works in the coal mine and knowing how much many of them dislike this life – she is encouraged by her parents to study her way out of working in the coal mine and into a different life.

Children will learn not only about Fiona’s life but also the determination and persistence she has shown throughout her life to achieve what she has. It was never easy for her especially being a female in the medical field in 70’s and 80’s and having to always prove herself but she continued to work hard and throw herself into everything she could just to achieve her dream.

Fiona worked hard with another scientists called Marie Stoner over many months to use all the current research on skin grafting and finally came up with the life saving invention – spray on skin.

This book outlines Fiona’s hard work and the hard work of many in the professional field who care for others. It is a great resource for classroom teachers to delve deep into real people who work in the field of STEM along with the characteristics that make a person who can achieve!

With simple illustrations scattered throughout the book (maps & diagrams) alongside short facts or word definitions, this book is a great read for those aged 8-12.

There are some concise teacher notes on Aussie STEM stars Website

 Aussie STEM Stars is a fresh and unique series for children and young teens aged 10-13 years that focuses on our Australian STEM heroes. Each book is written by an award-winning children’s author and follows the real-life stories of Australia’s top scientists and inventors, chosen on the basis of their pioneering work. Themes explored in the series include childhood, school, family and formative experiences, what inspired them to pursue their chosen path, how they persevered in the face of challenges and what they have contributed to science in Australia.

Reason for studying this book

Wild Dingo Press publisher Catherine Lewis is excited about their publication. “These disciplines are more important than ever as we look to our inventors and innovators to solve contemporary problems facing humanity and the planet. Our Aussie STEM Stars series uses narrative non-fiction as a tool for educating children – making it as fun and interesting as fiction books in this market. Our writers are passionate about doing justice to their chosen subjects – and their lives – providing teachers, parents and librarians a wonderful series aimed at encouraging children to develop an interest in STEM at a young age.”

About the author

Cristy Burne is a children’s author, science writer and presenter who has worked as a science communicator for 20 years across Australia, the USA, the UK, Japan, South Africa, Switzerland and beyond. She has degrees in biotechnology, science communication and professional writing. She is passionate about blending STEM and creativity to enthuse, engage and empower children and is a sought-after education presenter.

Who is Cristy Burne?


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