Drawing on Chemistry
Science education for youngsters is Gerald Bauldock ’79’s focus
by Brooke Thames

When he began making drawings years ago to help his toddler son learn the basics of chemistry, Gerald Bauldock ’79 didn’t imagine where those sketches would lead him. “When I began creating my own illustrations, I quickly realized I had stumbled onto something wholly original,” he reflects.

What began as a home project for the Bucknell chemical engineering major has blossomed into Kids for Chemistry, a series of educational books designed to teach young children chemistry fundamentals. The first book, self-published in December, is based on Bauldock’s patented renderings of periodic elements as atoms. Unlike the diagrams typically featured in textbooks, Bauldock says his depictions can help children as young as 10 understand complex concepts, such as orbitals and electrons, that most people don’t encounter until high school.

Gerald Bauldock ’79 has developed a science series for young children
Photo: Emily Paine
Gerald Bauldock ’79 has developed a science series for young children

“By then, trying to absorb the information can be overwhelming,” he says. “I believe my books can supplement current elementary curriculums and prepare kids to conquer the science courses they’ll take in junior high and high school.”

But Bauldock’s vision for Kids for Chemistry goes beyond books. With the help of his three sons (all engineers), Bauldock is expanding his educational products to include apps, computer programs, board games and animated lessons, including one that offers a primer on preventing the spread of the coronavirus.

“There are so many powerful tools we’re creating, and it’s all possible because of the education I received,” Bauldock says. “I certainly wouldn’t be doing this now had I not gone to Bucknell, and I’m incredibly proud of what I’ve accomplished because of it.”