Rectangular photo of Liz Lee Heinecke’s office bookshelf showing works about and by women in science including Marie Curie and Rachel Carson. Photo credit: Liz Lee Heinecke.

Liz Lee Heinecke—She Can STEM: 50 Trailblazing Women in Science from Ancient History to Today

Cover of the book She Can STEM: 50 Trailblazing Women in Science from Ancient History to Today with the title and author’s name over a blue background showing thumbnail portraits of 22 of the scientists featured in the book along with images of fish, penguins, chemical formulas, and other representations of their research.

She Can STEM


Liz Lee Heinecke (NASW Member), Kelly Anne Dalton, illustrator
Quarry Books, February 13, 2024
Hardback, $19.99, eBook, $19.99
ISBN-13: 978-0760386064
For readers ages 7-12

Heinecke reports:

I was thrilled that Quarry Books agreed to compile the biographies of the women featured in my Kitchen Pantry Scientist book series into a single book titled, She Can STEM: 50 Trailblazing Women in Science from Ancient History to Today. While the Kitchen Pantry Scientist series gives equal time to biographies and science projects, She Can STEM puts the focus squarely on the scientists, phenomenal women who will inspire the next generation of scientists.

Portrait photo of Liz Lee Heinecke

Liz Lee Heinecke
Photo by Amber Procaccini

While choosing which scientists to feature, I aimed to introduce readers to both well-known and less known scientists. Although I couldn’t interview each contemporary scientist I chose to write about, I did my best to contact all of them. Several were kind enough to talk to me, despite incredibly busy schedules. One of my goals was to learn about the women’s formative years, so I could tell the women’s stories in a way that would make them more relatable to young readers, including details such as their involvement in sports and the arts, and how they first got interested in science.

Writing biographies allowed me to write indirectly about the importance of scientific discovery as well. Several of the historical scientists in the book lost multiple siblings to infectious disease, for example. I pointed out that they were born at a time when vaccinations had not yet been invented.

As I delved into the world of each scientist, I searched for photos of each woman, along with the subject of her research and the equipment she used in the lab and field.

I sent these images to the wonderfully talented illustrator Kelly Anne Dalton, who created colorful, informative portraits of each scientist. The team at Quarto did a great job designing the book.

My favorite part of the book’s design is its table of contents, which contains a small portrait of each woman and looks a little bit like the Periodic Table of Elements.

Contact info:

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Banner image adapted from original photo by Liz Lee Heinecke.

February 27, 2024

Advance Copy

The path from idea to book may take myriad routes. The Advance Copy column, started in 2000 by NASW volunteer book editor Lynne Lamberg, features NASW authors telling the stories behind their books. Authors are asked to report how they got their idea, honed it into a proposal, found an agent and a publisher, funded and conducted their research, and organized their writing process. They also are asked to share what they wish they’d known when they started or would do differently next time, and what advice they can offer aspiring authors. Lamberg edits the authors’ answers to produce the Advance Copy reports.

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Publication of NASW author reports in Advance Copy does not constitute NASW's endorsement of any publication or the ideas, values, or material contained within or espoused by authors or their books. We hope this column stimulates productive discussions on important topics now and in the future as both science and societies progress. We welcome your discussion in the comments section below.

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