Author, scientist, role-model: Dr. Renee Horton is whip-smart, hardworking, good-natured, and caring. She visited Des Moines in August. In a trip hosted by the Des Moines Public Library, she stopped by Drake University for a reception in her honor. She shared her book, her experiences with NASA, and her message on STEM and kids.
Horton’s life is the inspiration behind her book series Dr. H Explores. Currently, there are two books out, From Mercury to Mars and From Jupiter to Uranus, with two more forthcoming. Readers can also get Dr. H dogtags and a Dr. H stuffed toy.
What makes this author special is that she lives what she writes. Horton specializes in Materials Science and holds degrees in engineering, math, and physics. She works full-time at NASA as the Space Launch System (SLS) Lead Metallic/Weld Engineer and has won numerous awards for her professional work and community advocacy. And while you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to write books, it sure makes book talks interesting!
After her Des Moines visit, she took to a moment to talk with us about her incredible adventure into STEM literacy.
Q. What inspired you to write for children?
A. I believe that every child is born curious with an active imagination, and we should allow them to explore to find themselves. The books are my way to impact their lives early, to help them stay curious, and create a desire to explore in a creative way. It’s my way of letting the kid in me have fun.
Q. What message do you hope to share with kids through your books?
A. First, I hope to provide a positive representation of inclusion of all in STEM while helping kids learn that everyone is different. The second thing I want them to walk away with is that STEM is fun.
Q. What writing projects are you or will you be working on next?
A. The next writing project for Dr H Explores is Trip to the Moon coming out at the beginning August. Next, Dr H finally gets to meet Pluto in the book scheduled to release in October. For a personal writing project, I am currently working with Kay Fenton Smith on writing my memoir that will detail my pain, my growth, and my happiness in life.
For more information or to contact Dr. Renee Horton, please visit her website: https://www.reneehortonphd.com/about.html. We love her opening quote: “When you find your intersection between your talent and your passion, you find your true happiness.” It’s clear that Horton has found that intersection, and her enthusiasm helps pave the way for others on a similar path.