Geology graduate student Rania Eldam started brainstorming the idea for a children’s book two years ago at an Association for Women Geoscientists meeting. “We don’t see many children’s book series where little girls are the main characters and aren’t pretty princesses or fairies,” Eldam said. “It’s always been so important to me to merge those two ideas. I was the girl who wore princess dresses, but my mom would get furious with me, because I’d also be in the dirt scrounging around for plants or rocks.”
Eldam created two main characters: MD (a little girl) and her best friend Finn the fox. Together, they go on adventures and learn how to solve daily problems. Through their experiences, they discover how machines work, how to read maps, and what creates solar energy. Each book in the series will
have a different STEM focus, and the characters will represent diverse races, ages, and disabilities.
“Rania is aiming to do something different than other children’s books in that she focuses on real-world scenarios and gives children ideas about how to approach something, like baking a cake or building a treehouse, while sneaking in technical skills like measuring and matching shapes,” said Kamini Singha, associate professor of geology and geological engineering. “She’s really pushing something innovative by
providing a wide-range of role models looking at applicable problems; I hope it will encourage a more diverse group of kids to think about STEM careers in their futures.”
Eldam finished writing the first book in her series, MD and Finn Go Camping, in December 2015. She plans to publish a hardcover and paperback version of the book in the spring of 2016. Find out more about the book series at www.raniaeldam.com/md-and-finn.