Laurie Wallmark, an award-winning author, has been teaching for many years and enjoys sharing her knowledge of both STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) and writing. Click here for a one-sheet about Laurie's presentations. If you are looking for information about her children's workshops, click here.
FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC
THE WRITERS JOURNEY
What does it take to become a professional writer? In this presentation, Laurie talks about the many possible paths to becoming a writer. She shares the non-traditional steps she took on her own writing journey. Attendees will come to understand both the work, and more importantly the fun, involved in being a writer. This talk is perfect for Family Literacy Nights.
MANY INTERESTS, MANY CAREERS
Many people assume the profession they enter after leaving college is the one they will pursue the rest of their life. That does not have to be case. Using her own life story as an example, Laurie will discuss the benefits and challenges of transitioning to a new career(s), either while actively working or after retirement.
WOMEN IN COMPUTING
In this presentation, Laurie talks about the lives and achievements of several women computer pioneers, including Ada Byron Lovelace, Grace Hopper, and Hedy Lamarr. She'll also share her own journey to becoming a computer scientist. Attendees will learn the vital, but mostly forgotten, role woman have played in the history of computing.
ENCOURAGING CHILDREN’S INTEREST IN STEM
How do we encourage children, especially girls and those from underrepresented minorities, to consider a career in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math)? Some children believe this is not an option, since they may have heard the opposite from parents, teachers, peers, and/or the society as a whole? We can change this mindset.
WOMEN STEM PIONEERS OF WWII
Women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) made many contributions on the home front during World War II, but their achievements have often been overlooked. In this talk, award-winning author Laurie will discuss the work of three of these women: Grace Hopper, Hedy Lamar, and Elizebeth Friedman. From programming missile trajectories on early computers to discovering ways to jam torpedo radio transmissions to using cryptography to break up spy rings, these women's accomplishments and their names are ones everyone should know.
BEGINNER'S CODING WORKSHOP
Are your children or grandchildren learning to code at school? Now it's your turn. This workshop introduces attendees to the logical thinking and basic programming concepts needed to understand coding. Using Blockly, an easy-to-learn graphical system, attendees will soon be running simple computer programs that they've written themselves.
FOR TEACHERS AND LIBRARIANS
CONTINUING THE CURIOSITY: FROM NONFICTION PICTURE BOOKS TO BOOKS FOR OLDER READERS
Picture books often pique a child's interest in a topic, igniting their interest in learning more about it. Once they're ready to dig deeper, how do they find books to let them do so? The difference between picture books and longer-form ones isn't just the number of words. How can teachers help students transition from reading books where so much of the information is in the illustrations to ones where the text carries most of the content. Through sets of related books, this talk will give students a way to continue their curiosity.
PICTURE BOOK BIOGRAPHIES: HELPING YOUR STUDENTS FIND A SUBJECT AND FOCUS
There are many questions your students must consider in choosing a subject for a biography, including the availability of research material. After that, they still need to decide what aspect(s) of that person’s life to highlight. This workshop will help you show your students how to write a biography they will be proud of.
USING BOOKS TO ENCOURAGE CHILDREN’S INTEREST IN STEM
In our increasingly technological world, it is important for children to be familiar with STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). Barriers to learning about these subjects include: inadequate access and exposure; prejudicial expectations; and lack of interest. STEM-related books, both fiction and nonfiction, can help children overcome all these obstacles.
PICTURE BOOKS 101
Picture books are not just books with a lesser word count. The text needs to work in concert with the illustrations to create a story children will want to read over and over again. Since these books are meant to be read aloud, each word, each phrae, each sentence must have a rhythm that propels the story forward. Learn what you need to know to write that perfect picture book.
NITTY GRITTY MARKETING FOR WRITERS
Marketing takes more time, energy, and money than you could ever imagine. In this talk we’ll get down to the basics of marketing your book— author events, blog tours, swag, trailers, websites, and much more. We’ll discuss what works and what doesn’t. Whether you’re pre-published, launching your debut book, or just need to up your marketing game, learn from my mistakes and successfully market your book.
PICTURE BOOK BIOGRAPHY: FINDING YOUR SUBJECT AND FOCUS
The first step in writing a picture book biography is to choose your subject. Sounds simple, right? Not so fast. There are many questions to consider: should that person be famous or a relative unknown; contemporary or historical; be of wide-spread or niche interest; etc.? Now it’s time to choose what aspect(s) of that person’s life to highlight. Again, there are many questions to consider. Finding a focus for your book can be one of the most difficult parts of writing a biography. This workshop will help you with the many decisions you need to make before writing the first word of your picture book biography.
Laurie proudly supports equity and inclusivity in the world of books and beyond. She is not available for any book events that discriminate against marginalized or underrepresented people either on the page or off.