Episode 75: How Does NASA Help People on the Ground?

Meet the Expert: Kirsten W. Larson, Former NASA Public Affairs Officer, now Children’s Author

Kirsten W. Larson

Kirsten used to work with rocket scientists at NASA. Now she writes books for curious kids. Kirsten is the author of WOOD, WIRE, WINGS: EMMA LILIAN TODD INVENTS AN AIRPLANE, illustrated by Tracy Subisak (Calkins Creek, 2020), A TRUE WONDER: The Comic Book Hero Who Changed Everything (Clarion, Fall 2021), illustrated by Katy Wu, and THE FIRE OF STARS: The Life and Brilliance of the Woman Who Discovered What Stars Are Made Of, illustrated by Katherine Roy (Chronicle, Fall 2022), as well as 25 nonfiction books for the school and library market. Kirsten lives near Los Angeles with her husband, lhasa-poo, and two curious kids. Find her at kirsten-w-larson.com or on social media @kirstenwlarson.




Kirsten Larson working in her NASA Public Affairs job

Kirsten Larson working in her NASA Public Affairs job


Kirsten Larson at NASA



Here is an example of what NASA Public Affairs is responsible for doing:



As a Public Affairs Officer, you need to make science interesting and understandable.

Your challenge is to look up “seahorse” in the online encyclopedia. Then re-write a paragraph on the seahorse. Make it FUN! Make it INTERESTING! Make it UNDERSTANDABLE! Share it with your family and.. US!

LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW  about your exciting writing. We LOVE hearing from you!! If you liked this episode, leave a comment below OR share with us on our Twitter , Instagram or Facebook page.


Wood, Wire, Wings book

Highlighted book for this episode!

Wood, Wire, Wings: Emma Lilian Todd Invents an Airplane
by Kirsten W. Larson (Author), Tracy Subisak (Illustrator)

NCSS/CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book • NSTA Best STEM Book List

This riveting nonfiction picture book biography explores both the failures and successes of self-taught engineer Emma Lilian Todd as she tackles one of the greatest challenges of the early 1900s: designing an airplane.




Book List: 

How We Got to the Moon: The People, Technology, and Daring Feats of Science Behind Humanity’s Greatest Adventure by John Rocco

The Hubble Space Telescope: Our Eye on the Universe by Terence Dickinson and Tracy Read

Exoplanets by Seymour Simon

Exploring Exoplanets by Deborah Kops


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