What Inspired Everyday Einstein to Study Science? (Part 3)

This month, the 100th episode of Everyday Einstein, on the Science of Agoraphobia, hit the virtual shelves. Since this is a significant event, I thought I'd take the time to step back and share some of the things that first sparked my interest in science. Today, I look back at the influence of my 6th grade science teacher, Mr. Fader.

Lee Falin, PhD,
May 19, 2014

In middle school, my favorite teachers were my science teachers. Ironically for someone who grew up to study genetics, I never really liked life science or biology in school. I prefered earth science and physics, because those seemed to have the most in common with Star Wars and Star Trek, my favorite movie and TV show respectively. 

I'm sure that my 6th grade science teacher, Mr. Fader, was an amazing teacher, but I can't remember any science we learned in that class. What I do remember is that I had Mr. Fader for homeroom, which meant that each morning he would read to us as part of some "Read to your homeroom kids" program the school had going on.

The first book was called This Place Has No Atmosphere by Paula Danziger. At the time, I thought it was just a cool science fiction story about people living in a moon colony. But looking back, I realize now that it was really a story about how teens deal with conflict, which is probably why it was on the reading list. Life lessons aside, from that time forward I dreamed of being one of the first kids to help colonize another planet. 

The second book was called Interstellar Pig by William Sleater. It was the story of a boy on vacation in a beach cottage who meets a weird group of people living next door. They teach him this board game called Interstellar Pig where the goal is to use cool sci-fi gadgets to try and capture a statue of a pig hidden somewhere in the galaxy. Of course they all turn out to be aliens and the board game was just a ruse to teach the boy the rules of a real game where they all try to kill him with sci-fi gadgets, but it's a great book.

I remember going home and convincing my parents to buy me some art supplies to try and create my own version of the game. My homemade version of the game was a pretty big flop, but I had fun dreaming about the adventures I would have once the neighbors found out I was onto their plans.

What other experiences inspired Everyday Einstein to study science? Check out Part 1 and Part 2 of this series to find out.