Geeky Woman Role Model: Kari Byron

Geeky ladies fall into a variety of categories. There are gaming geeks, and scifi/fantasy geeks, and tech geeks. Then, there’s the kind of geek that likes to blow things up in the name of science. I have to say, I have a special place in my heart for that last kind, and in the case of one particular geeky woman who likes to blow things up as well as bust myths we also have a special place on this blog. That place is the Geeky Woman Role Model of the month and that woman for the month of May is Mythbuster Kari Byron.

Kari at San Diego ComiCon from Wikimedia Commons

I think the best introduction to Kari is knowing how she got to be a Mythbuster in the first place. According to her Wiki page, Kari just kept showing up at Jamie Hyneman’s workshop trying to get hired. Her persistence paid off, and she was hired, just to immediately be asked to provide her rear end to model for a cast to help bust a myth. Starting in the second season of Mythbusters, Kari as well as her fellow team members Grant and Tory, became a more visible part of the show, and now they pretty much run their own myths.

Kari tesing skydiving myths. Picture from Discovery Channel.

Kari has a variety of talents beyond blowing things up. She always had a scientific midset, even from childhood about which she says that she “was experimenting on her sister and using dolls as crash test dummies”. She has a degree from San Francisco State University in film and sculpture. She is an artist who makes sculptures out of clays and found objects. She doesn’t currently exhibit her art, but you can find some on her webpage.

Kari also has an interest in science and science education. She’s not only a mythbuster, but also the face of Head Rush on the Science Channel. In this GeekMom article she talks about teaching science the way you teach art, but getting kids involved and getting their hands dirty. As a scientist, I know that this is the way to go, and definitely think that any woman trying to get kids into science is a fabulous role model for our world.


Kari working on myths with Grant and Tory from Discovery Channel.

So, lovin’ science, doing art, experimenting, busting myths, and blowing things up: yeah, I think those are definitely the activities of an awesome geeky woman. In the case of Kari Byron, she not only does all those things, but gets out and shares them with the world. That’s what makes her incredible, and that’s why she’s our Geeky Woman Role Model this month.


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