Wednesday, November 5, 2014


Officially my title is Education Coordinator, but I am more often referred to as the "_____" Guy.  The Bug Guy.  The Tree Guy.  The Flower Guy.  And most often simply as The Science Guy.

In my job, I get asked lots of questions.  Questions from adults.  Questions from kids (more questions from kids than from adults).  This is the nature of my job - answering questions.

If I am not doing a presentation at a school, I am the first person that visitors to our office see.  If I see someone walking in with a leaf, or a jar, or a bucket, there is very good chance that they have a question.  Usually its along the lines of "What is this bug/tree/plant/etc.?" or 'What can I do about this bug/tree/plant/etc?".  Sometime I come back to the office to find a jar/leaf/branch/whole plant/etc. sitting on my desk with a note to "Please call so-and-so, they have a question."

More often, the questions I get are from kids.  I should get lost of questions from kids.  During the past 5 school years I have presented more than nine hundred fifty classroom presentation.  This year, I have nearly 400 presentations scheduled.  If I answer an average of  7 to 10 questions per program, this means that by June 2015 I will have answered somewhere between 10,000 and 13,000 questions from students over six school years.  This doesn't count presentations at libraries, public programs, etc..

Some of the are unique, but I get lots of repeat questions.  My favorite question of all is one of the repeats - "How do you know all this stuff/so much stuff/all of this?!"  I love this question because when I hear it I know that the student is really asking "How can I learn all of this stuff?!"

My answer to a kid student that wants to know "all of this stuff" is to read LOTS of books.  Read every book you can get your hands on.  (I also read a lot about science on the internet, but you have to be careful about the accuracy of your sources.  Go outside - much of what I know I learned from direct observation.  Listen to other people who know more about a subject than you do - if someone is giving a presentation about something that interests you, go to it.  Most importantly ask questions - there really is no such thing as a stupid question if you don't know the answer.

So, are there any questions?

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