Who is Crazy Aunt Lindsey?
Crazy Aunt Lindsey is everyone’s favorite aunt. She fabulous! Thinks outside the box! She always has something interesting in her cupboard, on her mind, up her sleeve. She looks at the world in a different way and insists on making everything fun.
How did you get your name?
By the time I hit my early 20’s I had a gaggle of nieces, nephews, and God Children (15 at last count!) that all called me “Aunt Lindsey.” I come from a big family and have always been the silliest, free spirited one. I was the one to dress up as a fairy for first birthday parties (photo proof below!), impersonate Julia Childs while baking cupcakes, stop traffic with both hands while singing “STOP! In the name of love…” so my kids could duck-walk across he street. My job wasn’t done until I heard “You’re so CRAZY, Aunt Lindsey!” So, I took it.
How did The Fab Lab begin?
I’d been working in corporate America for 5 years after college and quit my job one day because I very slowly (then suddenly) realized I was miserable. To pay the bills as I figured things out, I took on some babysitting jobs in my neighborhood. Not to boast, but I really rocked at the babysitter thing. I had more fun than I could have ever imagined and was deeply moved by how all these families welcomed me into their homes and hearts. Serving children and their families turned out to be an incredible joy and the source of a long-sought sense of fulfillment.
One of the most important aspects of my job was to make sure kids did their homework. Right away, I realized it wasn’t the easiest task. So, I started brainstorming projects and activities that were related to the topics “my kids” where learning in school. And because I’m me, I worked hard to figure out how all of them could incorporate glitter, be edible or useful rather than be doomed to the trash bin (I had just seen An Inconvenient Truth). Over time, I’d built this really incredible arsenal of fabulous projects. YouTube was just starting to be a thing and I’d always dreamed of hosting a cooking show or a children’s show. In 2009, I’d been gifted a FlipCam for a project I was working on for XBOX. When the project was over, I grabbed a friend and started shooting!
This generation of children are growing into a world where science, engineering, technology, and math are weft into the very fabric of their lives. I’ve seen babies that can’t count to 10 or complete the ABC song operate the most advanced technology in presumed human history (iPhones, iPads, Skype, wifi). Kids have access to more information and resources than every before. Learning styles are evolving because of that. This generation will create the things that will become vital to the next generations everyday life that we can’t even fathom today. I want to be apart of making that possible the way others have done for my generation.
What makes Crazy Aunt Lindsey’s approach to science so unique?
I think it starts with the fact that I’m not a scientist. And, as it turns out, most parents aren’t scientists, either. Because I’m self-taught, I’m able to break science down into pieces and resources that make it easy for parents to understand and share it with their kids. I’m a layman that is helping other laymen understand science. I’m thankful that’s been celebrated instead of ridiculed.
I grew up thinking science was hard and, worse, “not for girls or people of color.” So when my obsession with science began to bloom, I was hit with a one-two punch of how interesting it was while being introduced to people of all shades and gendered who were really excellent at their work within STEM fields advocacy. I’m determined to help tell a new story about science and STEM fields. I think it’s time for a new one to be told.