INVITE ME TO YOUR SCHOOL FOR AN AUTHOR VISIT, EITHER LIVE OR BY VIDEO CONFERENCE.
A FEW POSSIBLE TOPICS
As an experienced speaker, I have provided programing to a wide variety of audiences including:
Keynote speaker at teacher conferences and luncheons
Teacher professional development workshops (from 1 to 6 hours in length.)
Interactive video conferences (with students or teachers.)
General interest programs for civic organizations and libraries.
Since I write on a wide variety of topics, I can offer many different types of programming all the way from George Washington to writing workshops for students and adults.
I am happy to tailor a presentation to fit your needs. Feel free to contact me for more details.
Below is a list of some of my popular programs:
George Washington: C.S.I. Meets the Biography Channel
Did George Washington really look like his image on the dollar bill? Mount Vernon gathered together a dream team of scientists, historians, and artists to find out. They searched for evidence in portraits and statues of the man—and studied Washington’s own dentures, hair, clothing and more. I share my original research on the investigation as well as photographs from my book, The Many Faces of George Washington: Remaking a Presidential Icon. Along the way, I share primary source research and how I used it in the book. This program, like the book, weaves together the worlds of language arts, science, history, and art to tell an old story-in a new way.
Concussions and Football: Understanding the Issues
This session will make the issues surrounding concussions in football understandable. It is a balanced look at the love of the game of football with the reality of cutting edge research.
This session is based on my book, Fourth Down and Inches: Concussions and Football’s Make-or-Break Moment. I’ll take a look back at the early days of the game and discuss the 1905 football season, a time when football was considered so lethal that many wanted to outlaw the game. It took the actions of President Teddy Roosevelt and a major overhaul of the rules of football to save the game. Today football is facing a different type of crisis: concussions. We will discuss what a concussion is, what it isn’t, what the latest medical research reveals about repetitive head injuries and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (the condition found in brains of some NFL players), along with some personal stories of football players.
Computer Geeks Who Changed the World: Tech Titans
In this session, I explore the lives and work of six modern technology giants who have changed the way we live and communicate. Computers once filled an entire room, now they fit in your pocket. Find out who did what—and how.
This program is based on my book, Tech Titans, by Carla Killough McClafferty. I cover the mega minds of the genius behind Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook. Bill Gates dreamed one day there would be a computer in every home. Steve Jobs put a computer in our phones. Jeff Bezos turned our computer into a store. Larry Page and Sergey Brin used a computer to put the world’s knowledge at our fingertips. Mark Zuckerberg designed a way to use our computer to stay in touch with friends.
These six men changed the modern world. This session will tell you HOW they did it.
Holocaust Rescuer, American Varian Fry and His Secret Mission
Before there was a fictional James Bond, there was a REAL Varian Fry who lived a double life right under the noses of the Nazis. In 1940, Fry, an American journalist, volunteered to enter war-torn France for one reason: to rescue as many refugees as possible before the Nazis found them. In public Fry ran a relief organization—but in private he smuggled people (including Marc Chagall) out of France to safety.
Using historical and family photographs, personal letters, and first person accounts, this session will introduce you to some people caught in Hitler’s vise grip. I’ll cover Adolf Hitler’s slow and steady rise to power and how his rabid anti-Semitism affected the lives of millions of people. We will follow along with Varian Fry as he arrived in Marseilles, pulls together a team of interesting characters, and find out how they saved the lives of more than 2000 people—all before Pearl Harbor was bombed. This program is based on my book, In Defiance of Hitler: The Secret Mission of Varian Fry.
Marie Curie and Radium: Making Something Out of Nothing
Many know that Marie Curie is a famous female scientist. But what did she do? Based on my book, Something Out of Nothing: Marie Curie and Radium, this program will allow you to get to know the personal life and work of Marie Curie in a whole new way. I’ll share Curie’s own photographs, letters, diaries and books to tell her story of achieving success against all odds. , we will discuss the life and work of the most famous female scientist of all time. I’ll share the consequences of her work while showing images of consumer products that contained radium such as suppositories, bath salt, cigarette holders and many more. This program ties together the fields of science, history, and art.
X-rays: Not Just for Superman Anymore
This program will open up the world of scientific discovery in a unique way. Based on my book, The Head Bone's Connected to the Neck Bone: The Weird, Wacky and Wonderful X-ray, I’ll share the how by Dr. Roentgen learned about these mysterious rays, what X-rays are, and how they work. Along the way, I’ll discuss the how X-rays are used to study art, Egyptian mummies, Titanic’s whistle, and the human body. I’ll show X-rays of all sorts of items including a Stradivarius violin, broken bones, frogs, alligators chocolate chip cookies, Barbie dolls, Tonka trucks and more.
Where Ideas Come From: Brainstorming with a Nonfiction Author
In this exciting program, I will interact with the audience to model brainstorming in action. This will show students how to start thinking “outside the box”. In this session, I discuss research papers and how to develop an idea that will take it from ordinary to original. I guide the discussion to show students a variety of directions they might use to approach their research. This session will also model the critical thinking skills needed to plan research so that you get the information you need without wasting time and energy.
Close Reading: A Skill Guaranteed to Make Your Life Easier
As a nonfiction author, I use close reading skills every day. In this session I’ll share the secrets of how professionals read research material. Using concrete examples, I will model how you can develop this skill set that will save time and increase your reading comprehension.
How to Write Nonfiction that Won’t Put you to Sleep
In this session, I will teach you how to write creatively about the real world. I’ll share the secrets of how to do research, how to interview, how do decide when to quote and when to paraphrase, and lots more. I will show real life, concrete examples along the way.