I’m Helene McLaughlin, and it has been a dream of mine since I was very young to teach experimental science to kids.

When I was in high school I planned, organized and ran a science day camp for 150 4th and 5th grade Girl Scouts in Colorado Springs, CO. This experience not only won me my Girl Scout Gold Award, but fostered in me the importance of making science relatable and accessible to kids, especially girls. I was on Science Bowl and President of the Science Olympiad team. I joked in my senior year of high school about triple majoring in chemistry, biology and physics in college, just because I couldn’t pick one that I loved more then the rest. Pretty much I was the geeky girl who hung out in the science labs at lunch time, because thats where I felt at home.

I attended college at the University of Colorado in Boulder, CO, and majored in Astronomy and Astrophysics with a minor in Physics. My marriage and husband led me back to the east coast where I landed a job as a Data Analyst at the Space Telescope Science Institute. I explored galaxies, the Orion’s nebula, the Hubble Deep Field, and I even discovered a couple brand new supernovae. I had a chance to work on data from several Hubble Space Telescope Instruments including, ACS, NICMOS, WFPC2, and WFC3(pre-launch). I worked extensively on a FUSE science program and on a SPITZER legacy program. You could say I’ve had my hands all over the space telescope realm.

In 2008 my husband and I started our family by having the first of two little boys, the second arrived in 2010. After a lot of soul searching, I decided to stay home full time to care for them. I’ve kept my hand in the science world by writing frequently for the GeekMom blog about many topics, especially space and science. In 2011, I was recruited to design a brand new children’s programming track for a geek culture convention called Intervention.

Lady Astrid’s Laboratory is the combination of my love of the steampunk genre and my passion for teaching experimental science. I’m hoping that Lady Astrid’s adventures will inspire you and/or your children to find a love for science.

Lady Astrid is always looking for suggestions for adventures to take and science to explore, so if you have one (or many!) please email her at