Fred Estes

Fred Estes taught science for nearly two decades in a school near his home in San Francisco. He’s written several articles about science teaching, including “Compost: The Rot Thing for Our Earth” and he is a peer reviewer for a National Science Teaching Association journal. Before that, he taught high school English, worked as a financial analyst, joined an AI startup, developed corporate training programs, and earned a doctorate in educational psychology and technology. Currently, he teaches graduate students and teachers about design thinking, innovation, creative teaching methods, and hands-on-STEM curriculum.


What was your favorite book when you were a child?

The Sea Around Us by Rachel Carson combines ocean science, great writing, and eco-activism— one of the first to speak out, for which she was persecuted corporate polluters.

What’s your favorite line from a book?

“It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities,” Albus Dumbledore tells Harry. From: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?

Robert Sapolsky who combines brain science and biology with humor, Philip K. Dick for some of the most creative science fiction ever written, and Jennifer Eberhardt, a new favorite, who combines neuroscience and memoir to shed new light on racial prejudice.

Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?

I’ve loved writing for as long as I can remember, as it allows me to express my creativity and ideas. Most recently, I was inspired by Toni Morrison’s advice to write the book I wanted to read and share with my students.

Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?

Write for the joy of writing and to express your ideas. Write to communicate to your friends and kindred spirits. Just let the ideas flow. The editing comes later.