What a great question - because you are asking
questions, you are already starting to think like
Basically, as a scientist, I ask questions
about our world and then try and figure out
answers using the scientific process and good
evidence. Every day, I get to learn something
new and talk with people who are also curious
about how stuff works. How awesome is that?
Sometimes, it can be really challenging and hard
to figure out answers, and sometimes you are
wrong, but overall, the process of doing science
is very enjoyable. Science is a way of
understanding our world based on asking good
questions and then testing ideas, looking for good
evidence. I really like that part. I didn't
think I would be a scientist at first because I
didn't understand that - I thought "science" was
just a list of things (like parts of a plant or
parts of a microscope). It wasn't until I was in
college that I actually realized that science was
so much, and that we really don't know all that
much. That made me really excited to try and
contribute to our knowledge by becoming a
scientist. But no matter what you do for your
life's work, if you keep asking good questions and
apply logic and critical thinking as you try and
figure out the answer, you are, indeed, a
scientist! I hope you have fun, too!
Scientists get to do many fun things during
their careers. In addition to being able to
talk about science and our own research, we also
get to travel to all sorts of places and meet all
sorts of people. In fact, this summer, I'll be
able to travel to Finland to present some of my
research. I'm excited, not only because I've never
been to Scandinavia before (I'm trying to learn a
little Finnish now; we'll see how it goes), but
also because I'll get to meet many of researchers
who do similar work! Perhaps the best part is you
learn something new everyday as a scientist;
sometimes you help teach someone else something
useful, and that's pretty cool, too.
At the end of the day, scientists are like
anyone else. Everyone has a variety of interests
outside of science that they enjoy doing. Many of
my lab mates and friends love doing a range of
activities. Some are outdoors, like biking,
hiking, camping, or kayaking. Others are indoors.
My roommates and I, for instance, like playing
boardgames or watching a marathon of a show. Or
sometimes we get distracted and end up talking to
each other about random things. Every so often, we
have a potluck and a big cooking bonanza. Lots of
my classmates also love music, and so many are in
barbershop groups or play instruments in their
free time. Every once in a while, I have a BBQ
with my lab mates and we play soccer in the grass,
and a lot of times I'll try out a new cake to
bring. Or other times, we'll go and explore the
area (just last weekend, we went to a trampoline
park for fun). I'll bet we do a lot things you do,
...dig in deserts for the remains of ancient
plants of long ago...
...prowl around in tropical rainforests and marvel
at the number of species...
...learn things no human has ever known before...
...share that knowledge with other scientists, and
with my students.
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