I’ve always had a love for nature and all things science. When I was in second grade, I remember wanting to be a brain surgeon. I was fascinated with the body and how things worked. I used to spend hours reading anatomy books and looking at diagrams of the different systems. I then went through a phase where I wanted to be an astronaut. I begged my parents to send me to space camp, and I always got a solid “no.” I would spend evenings with my mom looking at the stars, learning all the constellations and reading books about space travel.
By the time I was in fourth grade, I was set on being a meteorologist. I would study weather patterns, watch the weather channel faithfully, run outside when the clouds were rotating and, yes, read more books. As a fourth grader, I had made up my mind that was going to be my career. I held true to this -- until my school made me hate science.
I was bombarded with homework and useless busywork when I wanted to learn and experiment. During times when we were supposed to memorize something or do certain work, our class would instead find the answers on the internet. I never felt like I learned anything through my junior high and high school career. I gave up the hope of becoming a meteorologist when I got a C in my freshman physical science class.
Instead of my science program encouraging me to pursue my dreams, it only discouraged me. When I took physics as a junior, my classmates and I had to basically teach ourselves complex equations in situations we didn’t even understand. When it came time for physics competition, I felt as useless as the worn-down rubber bands on my friend Brandy and I’s catapult. I graduated with what felt like no gaining of knowledge in the science world.
I attend a private college, which means science is part of our core requirements to graduate. Since no one at orientation or my advisor told me there was an easier class for non-science majors, I enrolled into Intro to Cells. Not only was I going to be taking a college level biology class, I was going to have a lab component as well. After pouring almost $300 into the course, I struggled because of how far behind I was from everyone else. The most embarrassing thing was going to my first lab and having to ask the professor how to use the microscope since I hadn’t touched one since seventh grade.
I was a girl who loved science, but who got crushed by an insufficient and lacking program at my hometown school. I’ve talked to others in my same situation, those who loved science but found that the program at their school couldn’t offer the right teachings. I’ve also met people who had wonderful science programs and learned a lot from their teachers. This is my call to action, to implement more sound and concrete education in science and technology. Focus on the student’s abilities and goals to help them achieve their desires. Increase the funding in science and math programs to help aide in these endeavors. I salute those students who continued their passions and have succeeded. I also salute those teachers who are changing student’s lives through science.