Staff Spotlight on Copy Editor Debbie Leibold

Q: Tell us a little about who you are…
A: Let’s see… I’m definitely not a scientist, I’m not in a band, I’m not an ultra-creative graphic designer, I’m not on Ellen, I haven’t been featured on YouTube, I rarely blow things up.  My life is pretty boring compared to some of the people I work with.

I’m a mom, wife, dog walker, former high school English teacher, volunteer, taxi driver, sports fan (especially my kids’ sports), non-profit fund raiser, Duke grad, music lover, golfer, and avid reader. I have lived in Colorado most of my life and am passionate about education and the outdoors. I serve as a Trustee on a non-profit Board (the John Austin Cheley Foundation) that raises money to provide summer camp experiences for kids around the country.

Q: What do you do at Steve Spangler Science?
A: I edit Steve’s awesome books, specifically Naked Eggs and Flying Potatoes and Fire Bubbles and Exploding Toothpaste.  I also review the catalog before it goes to print and many of the Experiments of the Week and other important emails and print materials that Steve Spangler Science produces.  Somehow, I have also earned the title of “Science Fair Expert,” so I have worked on revamping the science fair section of Steve’s website and adding Science Fair Connections to quite a few of our experiments–a perfect example of irony since I’m an English, not a science teacher. Basically, I guess you could call me the resident wordsmith, or (as some other people no doubt refer to me) that annoying grammar lady with the red pen.

Q: What do you like best about what you do?
A: I like that I get to be part of the Creative Team at Steve Spangler Science. I work with many very talented and creative people, and it is inspiring when we all bring our own skills to the table and work together to create an excellent final product. I learn new stuff all the time from my colleagues about technology, social media, website design, photography, video production, etc. You could say I’m a bit behind the times when it comes to all of that. It’s a good thing I represent just a very small piece of the puzzle!

Q:  What is your favorite Steve Spangler Science moment?
A: I’ve only been part of Steve Spangler Science for a couple of years, but I always enjoy Steve’s demonstrations on The Ellen Degeneres Show. I especially liked it when he blew up the trash can full of thousands of ping pong balls or when he had an audience member walk across a giant tub of cornstarch quicksand.  Steve is always aspiring to take a great idea and make it even bigger and better. It was also interesting the day that he shot an ethanol rocket across the office. I found out later that the same day he had launched a similar rocket across my son’s desk at school and set the top of his desk on fire… only momentarily until the ethanol burned itself out. No damage to the desk (or my son), but he definitely got my son’s attention.  How’s this for dinner conversation: “Mr. Spangler is so awesome! He set my desk on fire today!!”

Q: What is something you wish every SSS customer knew?
A: I wish every SSS customer knew how customer-centered the company is. Every decision that is made is based on doing what we feel would be best for the customer. We have an amazing customer service team, but behind the faces and voices of that team, everything else is also focused on providing the best shopping experience and the most unique learning resource for you that we possibly can.

Q: What is your favorite science experiment?
A: It’s hard not to love the Mentos and Diet Coke Geyser experiment, but I also think the Exploding Toothpaste experiment is one that a great teacher can use to get kids really excited about science. Bouncing Smoke Bubbles is another of my favorites. Playing with bubbles is always fun, but when the bubbles are big and white and full of carbon dioxide fog, they are downright awesome!

Q: What do you like to do when not on the job?
A: When I’m not on the job, I am probably driving my two boys (ages 14 and 11) to a sporting event or practice, managing homework, trying to figure out what’s for dinner (or which drive-thru we’re going to that night), or walking my dog. When I’m not at the kids’ activities or volunteering and actually have some time for myself, I like to play golf, ski, hike, read, and spend time in the mountains with my family and friends.

Q: Anything else you’d like to share?
A: I have known Steve since high school and it is fun to work for his company, collaborate on projects, and see his tremendous success. Who knew?? I will also be very embarrassed if, as copy editor, I missed any grammatical mistakes or typos in this Staff Spotlight. Who edits me?

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