In May, AAAS received a letter, asking us if we could please send the letter-writer "shoes that make me fly," or offer super strength.
Though science has yet to catch up to this young person's desire for super strength or flying shoes, AAAS CEO Rush Holt sensed in this letter the budding mind of a scientist. To encourage the youth to follow the passion that this letter conveyed, Rush replied and praised the student for "thinking like a scientist because you are asking questions."
That curiosity about the world can be seen not only in scientists and engineers, but in everyone who poses questions and proposes solutions, Holt said. And it's often evident from a very early age. AAAS asked staff when they started to think like a scientist or engineer. Their answers follow.
We're interested to know when you--whether you're a professional scientist or engineer, or simply curious about the world--started to #ThinkLikeAScientist or #ThinkLikeAnEngineer.
Can you find a way for me to have super strength and fly, or Just make me fly, or you can make shoes that make me fly, and send it to me so I can test it out. Oh and I’ve never had a note for a scientist so this is really new. I just wanted to know if you could do it which I think you can. Can it be free or can you you mak 10 bucks please thank you for your time.
To which, Rush Holt responded:
Here is what initially inspired our staff:
Age 9: Surf Fishing in New Jersey. Holding a live fish.
Age 7: Watching the space shuttle launch!
Age 8: Being amazed at the Discover Channel and National Geographic magazine.
Age 6: Holding snakes at the Iowa Science Center!
Age 7: The first time I watched "The Magic School Bus"
Age 7: Building cardboard box forts.
Age 5: Thinking about how hard to pump my feet to make the swing go higher.
Age 4: Looking for fireflies in our yard!
Age 5: Looking at a cheese curl under my microscope on Christmas morning (haven't eaten one since).
Age 6: Building a mini-volcano for the school science fair.
Age 5: Studied how to make best cities in SimCity.
Age 7: Learning about veterinarians because I loved taking care of my beagle.
Age 10: I wanted to be a pediatrician to help children like me with Bell's Palsy.
Age 6: Examining the roots of my pulled teeth.
Age 8: Catching tadpoles in the Sodona, AZ, creek to watch them grow into frogs
Age 6: Taking apart old electronics to see what's inside!
Age 8: When I received a microscope set as a gift!
Age 8: Planting seeds in the sunniest part of the yard to help them grow taller.
Age 6: Hearing about the first astronauts blast into space.
Age 3: Watching a butterfly emerge from a cocoon.
Age 6: Wondering how pollution hurts the Ozone Layer
Age 8: Won 4th grade science fair with a moldy potato experiment.
Age 5: Making 'potions' with all different kinds of powers while playing in the sprinkler.
Age 9: Deconstructing my RC cars to see how they worked.
Age 9: Playing with the flashlight in the dark to figure out why the Earth's shadow on the moon was a straight line.
Age 5: Using cooking oil to go down the slide faster (not recommended).
What inspired you to #ThinkLikeAScientist or #ThinkLikeAnEngineer? Let us know on Twitter!