Saturday, September 13, 2008

Applied Science

Ken has expounded on my "importance of research" entry with an excellent Science Scene entry of his own concerning supercolliders and FermiLab.
Again, I know we're biased, but it reinforces my belief that we MUST encourage our students to take an interest in science and math if we want to continue to compete globally and find breakthroughs that can make huge differences in the way we live. While it may be hard to understand the immediate practical applications of such discoveries, my list of the things that we have today because of NASA engineers, and Ken's list of the applications resulting from particle physics research, show that there may be uses for these discoveries that we can't even begin to imagine at the moment.
Fostering a love for science and a curiosity about the world around them is so important for our students, especially for girls, who often are pushed unfairly into a non-scientific niche simply because of their gender. I'm grateful that my parents never saw things that way, and they are very pleased with the path I chose. My profession (Medical Technology, with a focus on Microbiology) is dominated by women, and if we didn't love science, we wouldn't be doing what we do! I can tell you from experience that a love of science is every bit as natural for women as it is for men.
To me, it's simply a matter of having an insatiable curiosity about how things work. Do you ever look at something and want to see inside it, figure out the mechanics of a machine? I do. (And remember, the human body is a machine.) Have you ever taken something apart in order to see the parts of the whole? I have. (Do not attempt this with a living human body.)
It's that kind of curiosity, that need to know--the What, the How, the WHY?--that drives the people who make amazing discoveries. It is those discoveries that make a difference in our lives. It is those discoveries, and the researchers who make them, that may very well save our planet. I also love art and literature, and those things enrich our lives, but it is the Science Geeks who will change the world.
Have you hugged a Science Geek today?


buckoclown said...

T'anks for the hug, nerd :o)

eml625 said...

A hug for my fellow lab geek ((((((((BETH)))))))))))


dbdacoba said...

I'm going out and find the first Science Geek I can and give her a big hug (and maybe a big kiss too, if she'll let me).                   D

easteeleco said...

we have always stressed science and math in our home.  Although Kendra and Kim have now decided to pursue careers in the writing fields, at one time they were interested in pursuing careers in Science.   Estela

carouselqueen70 said...

My whole house has alwasy been good at science. My daughter is in college for nursing. My son likes to know how things work. He has alwasy been like that. I love science. .... hugs, Christine

shrbrisc said...

I am a proud parent of a science geek and she chose to teach as a profession lol

solace223 said...

This entry reminds me much of my uncle, who by the way, went on to be a photographer, not so much a science geek.  ;)  For Christmas one year, my uncle received a radio.  Before the day was over, my young uncle decided he wanted to know exactly HOW this radio worked.  Where did the sound come from?  How did it get there?  He took the radio apart, piece by piece but failed to even attempt to remember how to put it back together.  The radio never worked again.  I'm sure it took a while before my grandparents fully saw the humor in it, although my grandfather found humor in things most wouldn't, at least not initially.  It's one of my favorite stories about my uncle.  When I was a kid, I was a little more into biology than mechanics.  This may sound morbid, especially coming from someone whose life has revolved around the care of animals but when I would find a squirrel or other animal that had been hit by a car, I would stare at it and wonder what each part did.  While I worked at a vet's office before I had my daughter, we had a necropsy done on a dog in the office (something you really don't get to see often, in any office).  It was really interesting, although I still felt a bit of sadness for what led that dog to that point.  (I had quit by the time the results came back)  I'm sure after telling my family those same stories, they slept with their bedroom doors locked, lest I feel the same curiousity toward human biology.  ;)

helmswondermom said...

Eler Beth's leanings are more toward Earth science and -- you guessed it --  animal husbandry and science, and I'm pleased that she has these interests.  I agree that our students must be encouraged to take more interest in science.  I wish more time could be given in our schools to encourage our girls (and boys, but girls, especially) to explore different sciences at an early age.  I think more of them would take advanced science classes in the upper grades if they were pushed toward it a bit more in the  younger grades.