• Question: Do you guys think that any of your teachers in middle or elementry school prepared you for your job now?

    Asked by Chris to Jonathan, Kellie, Kevin, Melissa, Stephanie on 26 Apr 2016.
    • Photo: Jonathan Jackson

      Jonathan Jackson answered on 26 Apr 2016:

      I have had many, many teachers that prepared me to be a professional scientist! Several were in high school and college, but even in kindergarten, my teacher Miss Cassidy read books to us all the time about the cool things scientists did.

      I had another teacher from 3rd to 5th grade, Mr. Koen, who really believed science and art were similar things. We did many art projects that required thinking very clearly and carefully about what was possible, and we also did many science projects without a “right” answer, that pushed us to think very creatively.

      And in 8th grade my teacher, Mr. Currin, made science properly cool. We built model rockets, visited wastewater plants, learn to fold complex geometric origami, dissected a frog, and used interpretive dance to learn the phases of the moon. He made science very active and personal.

    • Photo: Kevin Baker

      Kevin Baker answered on 26 Apr 2016:

      A lot of teachers prepared me for my job as a scientist:

      In elementary school, I had a few teachers that taught me the important of being detailed. If you really like your job, you will not want to stop paying attention. Other teachers taught me to work well in a team. Another showed me her passion for teaching, which inspired me to find my own passions (science).

      In middle school, I had a teacher in high school that bought us all cakes and we decorated them to be like a human cell. It was fun and delicious. It really showed me how you can make learning fun and interactive. I try to make science fun and interactive for people.

      But it is also important to remember that some teachers were not supportive of me. I had a teacher once tell me that I would not accomplish anything. I was very young when this happened and it was not a nice thing to hear. This experience was a very negative one, but I turned it into a positive one. I realized that I was responsible for finding what I wanted to do in my life, and it was up to me to do things to help me get there. This experience helped me a lot in finding my career.

    • Photo: Stephanie Moon

      Stephanie Moon answered on 26 Apr 2016:

      There are two ways that I think my teachers from elementary and middle school have prepared me for my job now- first, my favorite teachers gave me a lot of freedom to do independent projects and tried to encourage curiosity in class. I think that helped me become a scientist. Second, I am starting to do more teaching now, and it really helps to remember back to all of those lessons and activities that stuck with me and worked well.

    • Photo: Melissa Wilson Sayres

      Melissa Wilson Sayres answered on 26 Apr 2016:

      Absolutely! My 5th grade science teacher, and my high school math teacher both made huge impressions on me. They were both supportive, engaging, and really smart people. I very much appreciate their guidance and enthusiasm for science and mathematics.

    • Photo: Kellie Jaremko

      Kellie Jaremko answered on 27 Apr 2016:

      Yes! I had some amazing teachers along the way that taught me about science but also about hard work, determination, and helped motivate me to follow my dreams.

      All of the things you learn in elementary school build the framework for the things you learn in middle and then high school. It all adds up to becoming a scientist.