Sylvia Carol Branzei-Velasquez is the author of Grossology, Animal Grossology, Grossology Begins at Home and Hands On Grossology. She is the originator of grossology, or the idea of teaching science through gross things. Grossology has also become a museum exhibit, a calendar, a CD rom, and soon a television show. Virtual Grossology was also released, which is the original book with sounds and smells.
Sylvia is a 41 year old, former science teacher living in Northern California with her husband, three dogs and two cats. She is a board member for the Leggett Unified School District, a columnist for a local paper, and a writer. Performing gross stuff at
museums, universities, and school often takes her out of the woods and into various cities and towns.
Before devoting her life to grossness, Sylvia was a science teacher at a remote school in Mendocino County, California. She taught science to the entire school from kindergarten through high school. Considering the entire school only had about 60 students, it wasn’t very hard. Whale Gulch School is probably the only school in the world where every student knows how to make fake snot, fake blood, and fake wounds. Beside Whale Gulch School, Sylvia taught science in various junior high and high schools throughout the years.
Previous to teaching at Whale Gulch School, Sylvia was a freelance editor and writer for the Secondary Science division of Addison-Wesley Publishing Company. She wrote many enrichment features and full page activities for Insights, the middle school science series, and Biology, the high school science text. She also wrote all of the enrichment features for Environmental Science.
In addition to writing and editing at Addison-Wesley, Sylvia Carol worked as a curriculum designer and teacher trainer for Project Create, an elementary school environmental education project based in Oakland, CA. Finally, Sylvia Carol taught after school enrichment courses at Edison Elementary School, Alameda, CA for kindergarten through sixth grade children. The courses she designed and taught include Loonie Balloons, Grocery Bag Science, Abracadabra Science, and Earth Guardians.
From 1988-1991, Sylvia Carol was outreach coordinator at the Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California-Berkeley. During her tenure at the Lawrence Hall of Science, she traveled throughout northern California and western Nevada presenting workshops and assemblies in schools. (Basically, she blew things up, made slime, and performed other chemcial magic.) She wrote an assembly program entitled “Strange Changes: Is it Chemical or Physical?” which is still presented in elementary schools. Sylvia also designed courses and workshops for the Lawrence Hall of Science.
Sylvia Carol’s writing experience includes co-authorship of “The Soap Opera,” Science on Stage Anthology, a play about the chemistry of soap. She authored several articles that appeared in The Science Teacher, Science Scope, Partners in Education, and Creation Spirituality. She wrote curriculum guides for NASA-SETI and for the Department of Energy.
Sylvia Carol 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:
- originally from Michigan, three sisters, mother was a teacher moved to the North coast from Oakland, CA
– four step children, age 16, 17, 19 and 22
- husband is a web designer and the computer tech
- sang in several bands from folk to rock that played in the San Francisco Bay Area, currently singing in a band named Spin Cycle
- lives off-grid, so home is powered by solar and generator, heated by wood
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