Desiré Whitmore
Published February 18, 2022

Desiré Whitmore, aka LASERchick, is a senior physics educator at Exploratorium, a public hands-on learning laboratory in San Francisco where she leads curriculum development workshops for middle and high school teachers. She is also a science trainer at Amplify Science, where she crafted a digital science curriculum for grades K through 8.

Whitmore has more than a decade of research experience as a laser spectroscopist. Her Ph.D. research focused on the development of very fast laser systems to study the vibrations of single molecules, electrons traveling across the surface of metals, and the fluorescence of semiconducting quantum dots. She did postdoctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley, where she designed attosecond lasers, the fastest lasers that emit X-ray light.

Whitmore explains science to the public through Exploratorium videos like the science behind choosing a proper mask and making a DIY pixel table. She has appeared on NOVA, demonstrating through lasers how information is shared through glass.

She is a founding board member of and a mentorship advisor for the Council for the Advancement of Black Engineers, a nonprofit whose mission is to increase the number of culturally responsible Black engineers with Ph.D.s, post-doctoral training and professional engineering registrations.

A Blaxican American and Southern California native, Whitmore earned her associate’s degree in physical sciences at Antelope Valley College. She went on to get her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles, and her doctorate from the University of California, Irvine, in chemical and material physics.

A Blaxican American scientist stands before a board of lines and equations wearing a t-shirt that reads "Every Child Deserves a Black Teacher".

Courtesy of Gayle Laird

Pronouns: She/her

Expertise: Lasers, optics, science education, science communication, chemical engineering, materials science, science curricula

Location: San Francisco, Calif.

Email: desire.whitmore@exploratorium.edu 

Twitter: @DarthScience

Instagram: @dr.laserchick

Heard on Rostros Físicos: “Physics Education at a Museum”


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