While writing my “Scientifically Speaking” essay this week, I thought a lot about my childhood and what some of my best memories associated with science were. I had written a good number of paragraphs before I even remembered my favorite memory, my trips to the Boston Museum of Science. I remember being around eight years old and taking trips with my family to visit the giant building in the city, always excited by the buzzing, colorful exhibits. At the time, I’m not sure that I appreciated the scientific value as much as the fun of being out in such a big place to explore. The designers of the museum exhibits were very smart in their choices, choosing topics whose examples could be very fun for young children. In this way, the museum made children think that they loved science from a young age.
I went back to the museum a year or two ago to see an exhibit on the Harry Potter movies that was in town for about a month. After my friends and I finished with the Harry Potter section, we decided to stick around and explore for a few more hours. I remembered many of the exhibits in a dreamlike way, and felt a strange sense of deja vú while walking around. This time, I enjoyed reading about the different scientific processes and understanding what the examples in the exhibits were trying to show me. I had learned about many of the topics in school, and happily made connections from them to homework or labs that I had performed. When we had to leave a few hours later, I wished I could’ve had even more time to look around!
My question to all of you is, do you have a favorite childhood memory relating to science? Did you ever visit science museums, or enjoy a special scientific television show? I’d love to know what your introduction to science was.