Carolyn Wilke

Former Staff Writer, Science News for Students

Carolyn Wilke recently earned her Ph.D. in environmental engineering at Northwestern University, where her research drew on the fields of environmental chemistry, materials science and toxicology. She got her start in science writing by blogging for HELIX, Northwestern’s science magazine and wrote as a AAAS Mass Media Fellow at The Sacramento Bee. Prior to working at Science News for Students, Carolyn interned at Science News and The Scientist. When not delving into a new scientific discovery, you might find Carolyn behind her sewing machine or trying to amuse her cat. 

All Stories by Carolyn Wilke

  1. Space

    Before working on spacecraft, this engineer overcame self-doubt

    Tiera Fletcher once dreamed of working on spacecraft. Gaining confidence helped her become an engineer who designs vehicles for moon or Mars travel.

  2. Life

    Scientists Say: Enzyme

    This word describes a molecule that speeds up chemical reactions in living things. Enzymes work by lowering the energy needed for a reaction to occur.

  3. Earth

    Desert trails and microbial life excite this soil scientist

    To help her desert community, Lydia Jennings focuses her research on how mining affects soil microbes.

  4. Brain

    Scientists Say: Brainwaves

    These patterns of electrical activity in the brain look like spikes or waves.

  5. Earth

    Scientists Say: Meteorology

    This word describes the study of processes in the Earth’s atmosphere, including the weather.

  6. Space

    Scientists Say: Light-year

    This is the distance light travels in one year — about 9.48 trillion kilometers. Light-years are used to measure vast distances, like those in space.

  7. Life

    Scientists Say: Fermentation

    Fermentation breaks down carbohydrates, such as sugars, producing energy and making gases, acids or alcohol. This process can help make foods and fuels.

  8. Genetics

    What would it take to make a unicorn?

    Onward’s dumpster-diving unicorns seem like an impossibility. But scientists have some ideas about how unicorns could become real.

  9. Fossils

    Scientists Say: Fossil

    Under the right conditions, living things or traces they’ve left behind can be preserved in rock for a long time — millions or billions of years.

  10. Animals

    Analyze This: Shimmering colors may help beetles hide

    Delve into data showing how brilliant colors that shift as a viewer — or predator — moves may help iridescent insects blend in.