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La Dra. Ellen Ochoa quiere promover la curiosidad por las ciencias entre los niños de origen hispano. Foto: Wiki Commons 
Dr. Ellen Ochoa wants to promote curiosity for science among children of Hispanic origin. Photo: Wiki Commons

Ellen Ochoa, first Latina to go to space, to publish bilingual STEAM-themed children's book series

The renowned Latina engineer and researcher aims to promote scientific curiosity and the fundamentals of STEAM among young readers.

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Children's publisher Lil' Libros, created by two Los Angeles moms and friends with the goal of promoting bilingual education, has acquired worldwide rights to a series of five STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) themed books in Spanish and English written by Dr. Ellen Ochoa, the American engineer who became the first Latina woman to go to space. 

Entitled Dr. Ochoa's Stellar World, the author has brought together her experiences as a NASA astronaut in the book series, which aims to celebrate enthusiasm for scientific curiosity, the fundamentals of STEAM subjects, and the American Latino experience among younger readers.

"I wish I had known growing up that science [or STEAM] is about curiosity and creativity," Dr. Ochoa said in press release published by Business Wire. Her intention is to use this series of picture books to spark curiosity and enthusiasm for STEAM concepts among children and parents alike, in both English and Spanish.

Lil' Libros publisher Patty Rodriguez said she was excited to work with Dr. Ochoa "to help create an environment where our youngest readers can approach STEAM concepts with confidence in two languages." 

"It is an honor to welcome Dr. Ellen Ochoa to the Lil' Libros family. Bringing bilingual STEAM topics to children will open up a world of possibilities," added Ariana Stein, co-founder of Lil' Libros. In 2021, the publisher managed to raise $2 million in a crowdfunding campaign where investors were invited to collaborate in creating wealth among the next generations by betting on bilingual education. 

The first book in the series, The Stellar World of Dr. Ochoa: We Are All Scientists, is scheduled for release on Aug. 30, 2022.

Born in Los Angeles, California, to a family of Latino descent (her paternal grandparents were Mexican), Dr. Ochoa studied physics at San Diego State University. D. in electrical engineering at Stanford University and was a researcher at NASA Ames Research Center. After several attempts, she was accepted by NASA, and on April 4, 1993, she became an astronaut. Since then, she was able to participate in four missions to space, the last one in 2002.

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