Thanks to everyone who joined! I'll be leaving this page now. Thanks for all of your questions!

I'm the host and co-executive producer of Netflix's Emily's Wonder Lab, host and executive producer of Xploration Outer Space and a member of the Executive Team of the Brooke Owens Fellowship. This fellowship is for women and non-binary undergrad students who want to work in the aerospace industry. AMA!

[Brooke Owens Fellowship] (

Comments: 68 • Responses: 26  • Date: 

_ChazzleDazzle_18 karma

My daughter Lily (4) loves your show and is even having a Wonderlab themed birthday party next year! Thank you for being an inspiration to girls liker her.

What steps can we take as parents to encourage her growth and interest in STEM?

emilycal16 karma

That is so wonderful to hear! I think introducing your daughter to role models that she resonates with (ones who look like her especially) is incredibly impactful. As she gets older, there are many women like me who talk about science online! The Physics Girl, Vanessa Hill, Simone Giertz, Dr. Raven the Science Maven, Science Sam, Hood Naturalist, Estephanie Explains it All - these are just a few off the top of my head!

_ChazzleDazzle_6 karma

Thank you! And let us all know what streaming service we need to pressure for a second season of Emily's Wonderlab...

Boreal_B17 karma

What’s your favorite experiment to do? - From Sadie age 7 🐇🪐

emilycal10 karma

Personally I love oobleck! I think it's so fun and easy to make and I love trying different colors each time I make it. Creating a full pool of oobleck on Emily's Wonder Lab was probably my favorite experiment I've ever done!!

MsPeppermilk9 karma

Good afternoon Mrs Emily,

My six year old son Charlie absolutely loves your show, all that you do and stand for. You have encouraged him to want to become a scientist when he gets older. Thanks to your show all he wants to do is science experiments all the time. He finds science to be kind of a magical thing. He would like to know what he could do now to help him get to the path of becoming a scientist one day? Where would you recommend him starting? Thank you so much for your time Mrs Emily. Have a terrific day.

emilycal9 karma

Hi little scientist Charlie! Becoming a scientist is all about nurturing a passion for asking fun questions about the world and searching for answers. At such a young age, I think the best way to keep that passion alive is to make sure it feels fun! Science can be found everywhere (in nature, in your house, in your backyard, etc). Encouraging him to constantly ask questions and help him search for answers is a lovely way to support a budding scientist.

tarabella117 karma

Question from my daughter: what is your favorite planet and why?

From me: No question, just wanted to say thank you for being YOU. My daughter views you as one of her role models and I couldn't ask for anyone better. She wants to be a scientist/engineer for NASA as well as a mom one day and you show her that she can be both. Emily's wonderlab was and still is our favorite show to watch as a family. It's a great way to bond with her while discussing the hows and whys of what she sees. Keep being your inspiring self and I will continue to hound Netflix for another season ❤

emilycal7 karma

My favorite planet (other than Earth) is Jupiter because I think it is simply the most beautiful. The pictures from the Juno spacecraft of Jupiter look like ART. It's just so mind boggling to me how incredibly beautiful swirling gasses on another world can be. It's also the largest planet, but has the shortest day which I think is pretty neat!

And thank you so much for your support! I truly appreciate it!

bmcfarlane15 karma

Have you dealt with much discrimination because you are in a traditionally male dominated field? How do you deal with this?

emilycal4 karma

Everyone has their own experience with this and mine is a bit unique since I went straight from school to working as a Science Communicator. But in this particular field (TV/media/SciComm in Aerospace) which is also male dominated, I've also run into issues. For one, most major science networks are more interested in male-created shows since most of their audience is currently male. And similar to the Aerospace Industry, TV/media is filled with an old boys network from which many opportunities flow. In Aerospace, fellowships like the Brooke Owens Fellowship combat that by giving women/gender minorities their own network to share opportunities with too, as a way to level the playing field.

bmcfarlane1-4 karma

Thanks! Speaking of male-created shows, we loved Emily’s Wonder Lab! Edited to say - I didn’t mean to insinuate Emily’s Wonder lab was male created. We love that it wasn’t in a world of male-created shows.

emilycal17 karma

Emily's Wonder Lab was created by woman, hosted by a woman, and the show runner was a woman ;)

Representative-Crow55 karma

What kind of activities do you recommend to spark children's curiosity on STEM fields? I have an 8yo daughter who recently got interested in programming but there's so much more I don't even know where to start. She watched your show on Netflix and loved it!

emilycal6 karma

That is such a great place to start! I think STEM books, TV shows and at-home science activities are all really useful. I have a bunch of science activities on my YouTube channel that you can choose from, and I have a book of experiments coming out next year. As she gets older there will probably be school-based activities she can join (like LEGO robotics, or math/science teams, "Girls Who Code", etc) - these are great ways for her to meet other kids who have similar interests. I would ask her school if they have anything like this available yet!

HalpWithCode5 karma

How did your involvement in this fellowship come about?

emilycal5 karma

The fellowship was started by some very well-known members in the Aerospace Community - I was familiar with 2 of them (Will Pomerantz and Lori Garver) and was HUGE fans of them. I knew that anything they created would be great and wanted to help out any way I could. I volunteered with the org since it was founded 5 years ago (as a mentor and as an invited speaker) and recently the Executive Team asked me to join to help at the leadership level.

anxiousinatl4 karma

I have poor GPA (which is moving up slowly since my return to school!), is it worth applying or should I wait another year until my GPA is a good bit better? thank you! Edit- to the Brooke Owens Fellowship, sorry!

emilycal6 karma

You should absolutely apply this year. For one - this fellowship is unique in that the reviewers acknoweldge that GPA is not a perfect indicator of your abilties to perform. We have a holistic approach to reviewing you (your passions, your academic performance, your hands on experience, your ability to contribute to your community, etc). GPA is only one piece of the puzzle. ALSO - the application is very unique and so even if you don't get selected this year, the experience of applying will make you even more prepared in a future year.

anxiousinatl3 karma

thank you!!!!! I was nervous that I would be wasting everyone involved’s time, but it sounds like the application process alone will be helpful!!

emilycal4 karma

Absolutely!!! Please please apply :)

elesdee14 karma

Are you concerned about the amount of satellites in orbit? With all these new tech startups and things like Starlink, the volume is growing so quickly!

emilycal9 karma

Yes! I think orbital debris is an international issue and anything that requires international collaboration is going to involve many years of debated, red tape and beauracracy and the problem will only get worse over time (especially with companies like Starlink as you mentioned). I'm optimistic that the right people are starting to take this more seriously, but it's definitely a fascinating area worth keeping an eye on.

ZoeC244 karma

Hi Emily!! My name is Zoë and I'm a junior in Aerospace Engineering. We actually met a couple weeks ago during your Brooke Owens Fellowship Presentation at WVU! I really want to apply for the Brooke Owens Fellowship but I'm not sure how to stand out amongst the hundreds of other people applying. Do you have any advice for making my application stand out? Thank you! Also, you're one of the things that inspired me to go into Aerospace Engineering and continues to inspire me to keep going despite the difficulty, and I look up to you a lot so thank you. 

emilycal1 karma

Hi Zoe!! I'm so excited to hear that you're interested in applying! The best applications are one that have HEART. Brookies are people with a wide variety of interests (not necessarily just aerospace), are passionate, and want to help make their community (or company, or the world at large) a better place. So I would focus on what YOU care about. Showcase your identity in the application (especially in the multimedia portion). Don't think of it as competiting with a bunch of others. Think of it as - how can I leverage this application to showcase the most unique aspects of ME. That way, you'll get the most out of the application process AND you'll be putting your best foot forward.

Circumzenithal4 karma

If another inspiration 4 type mission came up, would you apply for a seat again? I thought Dr Proctor was a fantastic choice in the end, but was sad not to see you go.

emilycal11 karma

Dr. Proctor truly was the perfect person for this mission! I loved watching her fly. I don't know if I would apply again. That contest, for a few different reasons, was very difficult to go through and it took me a while to recover. I wanted to go to space to be able to share the journey (and other important issues I care about) with people back home in Appalachia. I have realized that I don't necessarily need to risk my life on a trip to space to accomplish that goal. I still would love to go to space, but that experience made me re-prioritize what I thought was important.

Mathandsciencegal3 karma

Hello, my name is Jessica and I am a sophomore in high school and I am also in college!! I will be recieving my Associates of Science in Biology by the end of next year!! My dream is to work in the field of biomedical engineering and go to Stanford University or MIT. I don't believe I am eligible for the brooke owens fellowship, but do you know of any similar opportunities that are avaliable to me? Do you have any advice for someone like me who is just starting there science career?

emilycal2 karma

Hi Jessica! Correct, you need to have graduated high school to be eligible, but be sure to keep the fellowship in mind in a few years! I think any type of hands-on experience you can find would be really valuable - sometimes companies will offer high school internships or shadowing experience. Even just speaking to people who have the jobs you're interested in and asking them a few questions about their career and what they currently do today could give you a great idea of what you want to do (or, just as valuable - what you DON'T want to do!)

Dgckmi3 karma

My son wants to ask you :Who I can make a glowing Slime ? Claudio 6years old

emilycal3 karma

Elmers has glow in the dark glue! You can use whatever your favorite glue recipe is and just substitute elmers glow in the dark glue for the regular glue!

Dgckmi1 karma

Lol ! Claudio’s said he want to make by 0 . What to know how we can made things glow . So we can make our own glow glue? 😬

emilycal2 karma

There are other recipes that include glow powder, or a highlighter and a black light - here are some options for you!

Dgckmi1 karma

Also he ask if you speak Spanish or any other language ?

emilycal1 karma

Unfortunately no! I wish I did! I studied spanish for a couple years as a student, turkish and Mandarin for a few months, and Russian for a couple years in college. I only remember a few words and phrases from each language, but I wish I was fluent!

Tea_Em_Drinks2 karma

"Some of my friends only like science or art but I like both. Do you like both? What is some kinds of art you like?"

-Olive, 8

emilycal3 karma

Hi Olive! I LOVE both! When I was a kid, my favorite subjects in school were Art and Math. I looked forward to both of those classes equally. As you get older you'll find that there are some really cool ways to combine both of those interests! For me, I've loved writing creative stories that talk about science. I love making creative videos that talk about science. I know others who combine their love of song-writing and science, or animation and science, or sports and science! The fact that you love BOTH will allow you to see the world in ways that others may not be able to. You can do both!

savanerplanet2 karma

So I’m working on getting my Physics degree and eventually plan on getting my Doctorate in Astrophysics. I am currently taking a break from my undergrad for financial reasons. Can I still apply or do I need to currently be enrolled in a university? Thank you!

emilycal5 karma

You need to currently be in undergrad to be elligible, but once you return, please apply! Non-traditional students are welcome (multiple Brookies are non-traditional students!)

IlludiumQXXXVI2 karma

What made you want to become a science communicator? When did you know that's what you wanted to do?

emilycal3 karma

While in grad school I started a second Masters in something called Science and Technology Policy - this taught me how to think of science/tech from a policy makers perspective and tested my skills on explaining complex STEM topics to non-STEM policy makers. I enjoyed that challenge quite a bit. So when I was invited to be the host of a new space TV show that would require me to explain complex space topics to a general audience I was all about it!

Goatzinger1 karma

Do you consider a hot dog a sandwich?

emilycal5 karma

Philisophically? sure. Practically? no. I do not expect my local sandwich shop to sell hot dogs.

BrnEyes30241 karma

What’s your favorite ice cream flavor? And your favorite science experiment? :)

emilycal4 karma

Favorite ice cream is Phish Food from Ben and Jerry's, but I love trying adventurous flavors at local ice cream shops! Favorite experiment is a pool full of oobleck and challenging people to run across it!

BrnEyes30243 karma

My kids (8 and 5) said “OHHHH WE LOVE THAT TOO!”

5yo son said his favorite is the tornado experiment. 8yo daughter said her favorite is the rainbow horse toothpaste :). Thank you for all you do for science!!!!!

emilycal4 karma

Those are really fun ones too! The indoor tornado was probably the hardest experiment to get right! We had to try and fail, try and fail, many times before we got it right! The horse toothepaste one was probably the most colorful (and messy!)

BrnEyes30243 karma

You legit made my kids day! Thank you!

emilycal1 karma

Thanks for joining the AMA!

[deleted]1 karma