Author’s bid to inspire children to become scientists

Dr Mandy Hartley launches her new book The DNA Detective - To Catch A Thief. Picture: JONATHAN HARTL

Dr Mandy Hartley launches her new book The DNA Detective - To Catch A Thief. Picture: JONATHAN HARTLEY - Credit: Archant

A scientist launched her new children's book in a bid to inspire future generations to take up careers in the subject.

Dr Mandy Hartley launches her new book The DNA Detective - To Catch A Thief. Picture: JONATHAN HARTL

Dr Mandy Hartley launches her new book The DNA Detective - To Catch A Thief. Picture: JONATHAN HARTLEY - Credit: Archant

Dr Mandy Hartley's event on Sunday, October 1 at Old Buckenham Village Hall was attended by many children, who also took part in a workshop based on the book where they find out what it is like to be an author and learned about DNA.

The 43-year-old's book challenges youngsters to solve crimes using DNA and could be used in schools to help inspire the next generation to take up careers as forensic detectives and generally learn more about science.

'There are fewer children going into science,' she explained.

'We need to enthuse them at a young age and get them excited about science.

Dr Mandy Hartley launches her new book The DNA Detective - To Catch A Thief. Picture: JONATHAN HARTL

Dr Mandy Hartley launches her new book The DNA Detective - To Catch A Thief. Picture: JONATHAN HARTLEY - Credit: Archant

'Speaking to teachers, the problem is that because they're getting no experience of DNA when they come to secondary school, to absorb the basics is really hard.


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'If they learn about it earlier, they have a greater capacity to learn more and retain the information.

'It shows them what careers are out there.'

MORE: Old Buckenham workshop by Mandy Hartley inspires next generation of scientistsHer children Annabelle, 10, and Harry, seven, are featured in the book - which is illustrated by Jamie Maxwell - alongside four-year-old Millie the dog, the family's pet. The book is priced £6.99.Those who buy a copy from Dr Hartley's website, wwwthelittlestorytellingcompany.co.uk, will get a copy signed by the author.A second launch will take place at Waterstone's in Norwich for those who couldn't make the first event.Dr Hartley, from New Buckenham, was a technical manager at a DNA firm but now runs the Little Storytelling Company, where she gives workshops to young people designed to spark their interest in the subject.

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