Question: What age were you when you first started doing science?
Asked by anon-253237 to Sonia on 5 May 2020.
answered on 5 May 2020:
Hi Salma, my first experience working in a lab was at 20, when I was studying at University.
Gaby commented on 5 May 2020:
Hi Salma! I really liked science in school, but wanted to do more outside of just practicals during my biology lessons at school. In year 12, my college offered ‘CREST awards’ (A great science initiative – google them!) to students wanting to do a small individual project. So during my AS levels I did a mini lab project looking at gene expression in bacteria. When I left college I did a brief summer placement in a lab in London, which was my first time in a real lab (outside of school), working with real researchers. I knew absolutely nothing at first but learnt a lot very quickly!
If you want to get into science you should ask your teachers about CREST awards! There are bronze, silver and gold awards for all ages.
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James_the_Scientist commented on 6 May 2020:
Hi Salma! As I think I mentioned on our chat, it depends on how you define what ‘doing science’ is! From very early on in our lives, we obey the rules of physics – is that doing science? From a young age I used to love messing around with things like paper aeroplanes – seeing how far I could make them fly, is that doing science? People ‘do science’ everyday without even thinking (eg. try filming the end of your remote control next time you change channel). The only difference now, is that it is my job to ‘do science’! If you make an observation and question it – you are doing what scientists do every single day 🙂
Laura_Dev commented on 6 May 2020:
Like James, I think we all have been ‘doing’ science, even when we don’t realise it! I have always had an interest in science, I studied triple science at GSCE, Biology, Chemistry and Maths at A-level, BSc Biology and then MRes Medical Genetics. I started to do science experiments in a lab when I was doing my undergraduate degree in Biology (18-21yrs), but I really think I started to learn what it was like to be a researcher and design my own experiments when I was doing my MRes (21-22yrs).
Sandra commented on 6 May 2020:
We all do science as part of exploring our world and learning how it works. For instance babies learn about gravity by throwing things on the floor, usually with many many repeats to ensure that their results are statistically significant. Even learning to blow candles out is science.
I started doing more directed science experiments when I was about 6 with my Dad. He is a retired high school science teacher and we had a microscope at home that we would use to look at the paramecia (small single celled organisms) in water from different sources, puddles, ponds etc. They were super cool how they zipped around. Pond water had the most interesting variety.
One of my favourite experiences in high school was going to Questacon: National Science and Technology museum in Canberra Australia (where I grew up). The hands-on exhibits were super fun and really helped me understand how things work.
I started working properly in the lab during the final year of my University course which was a year long research project, when I was 21. I’ve been loving it (mostly) ever since.
Alena commented on 6 May 2020:
Hi Salma, I was always interested in science, mainly biology. I think the first time I got properly involved was in highschool, where we had research projects to do. I did one in biology for which I irradiated fruit flyes in a research institute and recorded the mutations appearing through several generations. And I did onw in physics with a classmate in which we made a refrigerating unit by circulating ammonia under pressure through pipes with a pump and valves and cooled a bucket of water. I definitely got hooked!
Nicole commented on 6 May 2020:
Hi Salma! Great question. I was a big science nerd as a kid and was always reading about it when I was little. The first hands-on experience I had was when I was around 10 and my mum started breeding pedigree cats. I found out from a book that you could predict what colours the kittens would be using genetics, so I would spend the time waiting for a cat’s kittens to be born drawing Punnet squares and imagining what the kittens would look like. This led to me studying genetics at university, and now doing it as a career 🙂