Sylvia Carol Branzei-Velasquez is a children's nonfiction author, performer of educational shows for kids, an educational consultant and trainer.
She is the originator of Grossology, or the idea of teaching science through gross things. She is the author of Grossology, Animal Grossology, Grossology Begins at Home, Hands On Grossology, and Grossology and You. Grossology, published in 1995 by Planet Dexter, has sold over 500,000 copies. Grossology was translated into a dozen different languages. Grossology and Animal Grossology were made into two different museum exhibits, which Sylvia co-designed. Both are currently touring the world. Grossology has also become a calendar, a CD-rom, and a television show.
Her grossness, Sylvia, has performed her science shows, Grossology and Germzappers, in over fifty different venues. Some venues have numerous repeat performances. She has delighted and educated children and adults throughout the United States and Canada, Trinidad, Germany and England.
Besides the Grossology series, Sylvia is principal author for the Ickstory series about icky stuff in history like vampires and mummies. Her latest series, Rebel in a Dress, is about independent women in history. Thus far the titles include Adventurers and Cowgirls. Sylvia has designed an informational and inspirational talk also titled Rebel in a Dress.
Sylvia's writing experience includes co-authorship with Jack Keely of the Eurekaville Series starting with The Dinosaur Store and The Outer Space Place. She also co-authored "The Soap Opera," Science on Stage Anthology, a play about the chemistry of soap. She authored articles that appeared in "Headteacher", "Humboldt Highlights", "The Science Teacher", "Science Scope", "Partners in Education", and "Creation Spirituality". She wrote curriculum guides for NASA-SETI and for the Department of Energy. She edited and wrote textbooks for Addison-Wesley, And she designed museum exhibits with Science World, Advanced Animations, and Waste Management.
She has been interviewed and featured by National and International TV, radio, magazines and newspapers including People Magazine, New Scientist, Science Teacher, Self, Time for Kids, Newsweek, National Geographic World, Good Morning America, NBC's Today Show, CNN, BBC, Dr Dre show, Radio Toronto, John Moore show, Radio Disney, MSNBC, Washington Post, Globe and Mail, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, and the Chicago Tribune, plus many others. She was a $500 question on the TV show Jeopardy.
In the past, Sylvia taught science at various junior high and high schools in Southern and Northern California. She was a science workshop and assembly presenter for the Lawrence Hall of Science, where she also designed and taught enrichment classes.
Sylvia received her B.S. degree in Microbiology from the University of Michigan in 1980. She received her M.A. degree in Science Education from California Polytechnic University in 1986.
Other assorted info:
- Sylvia lives in Southern Oregon with her husband and two cats
- Sylvia and her husband, Byron, have a band for children called Wacky Dog, which performs standard and original songs at schools, libraries, festivals and events.