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A question for Science-loving moms & dads

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I have discovered that we have a number of science loving WTM'ers here. Many of you are scientists or former science teachers.

I have a few questions for you. I'm curious about something.


What was your science education like in your home? What about school? Did you have a parent who was a "sciencey" person or did you have a particularly good teacher when you were young?


If not, when did you decide to get interested in science?


I'll answer for myself in just a bit.

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Neither of my parents is what I'd consider a "science person," but they did give me the freedom to wonder and experiment. I enjoyed science in school, and by high school I knew I wanted to study something in the science field in college. I double-majored in biology and English, and years later wrote my own science curriculum (My World Science).


With my own kids I've provided opportunity to explore whatever interests them. Starting when they were very young we spent lots of time outside looking at nature. I have several microscopes, numerous field guides, way too many science experiement books, animal cages, aquariums, chemicals, rock collections...you name it, we probably have it somewhere. If the kids have an interest, they have the means to investigate, experiment, and read. I try to encourage and ask questions to make them think (and then look for answers).



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I did not pursue a science degree or specialize in any particular science field but I was introduced to the beauty of the natural world by my mother and grandmother. My mother taught me at a very young age that when you hear a "snap" it means the plant is saying "ouch". Even grass, which is probably where this lesson came from to begin with. She taught me to sit still and watch the world to see its true beauty.


My grandmother taught her and she taught me and I teach my children. I've been greatly influenced by my family experiences, teachers in school helped ignite further interest but only the passionate ones.

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That helped tremendously. My parents have 400 acres. We still go back there as our "retreat" from city life. Since they were teachers, we had summers to run wild.


We had pets and working animals. At different times: pigs, goats, cows, dogs, cats, sheep, geese, chicken, turkeys..... We had natural animals: Insects, spiders, deer, turkey, etc... Ponds where we went fishing and caught crawdads. Fields where we picked blueberries and pecans and baled hay (ok, I watched them bale hay.)



My dad was a former science teacher and he would clip out articles of interest from the paper. They got me a subscription to Popular Science. We would go out and watch meteor showers, etc... But, they weren't constantly arranging experiences or setting up experiments. They did help us with science fair projects and such.


I wish my kids could have the same upbringing. The best I can do is that we go back frequently for long weekends.

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For my own childhood, my father was an electrical engineer. By the time I came along, he was nearing retirement age and decided to start his own business repairing electronics. Since he was my primary caretaker, I spent most of my afternoons with him.

I helped him in his shop every day and learned stuff about electricity that shock (no pun intended) my DH.

My father was also a naturalist at heart and we spent many mornings fishing, exploring, and digging up treasures.

He was the kind of man who threw himself into self-education and was an avid reader.


He bought me both a set of regular encyclopedias and a set of science encyclopedias. I spent many hours reading these and reporting back to my father what I had learned.


I don't really remember much about my school education from 1st to 6th grade. Basically, I went to school and my father taught me when I got home.

From 7th grade on, I had not only good science teachers but also good math teachers. It's funny that I really don't remember too much about my otehr teachers though.

I did hate my senior year literature teacher....but eeryone hated her.:D

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I am the first "science" oriented person in my family of origin. One trip to the vet as a four year old was all that did it. I have wanted to be one ever since....and I still enjoy it.:001_smile:


What did your parent's think of your desire to be a vet at such a young age? Did they encourage you or was it just more of a passing thing?


I wanted to be a doctor from about 5 onward. (I always tried to mix up some slave to heal my grandmothers arthritis. She was quite patient with me and my creations.)

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