Students get excited about science careers when they understand that scientists are regular people just like them. Throughout Twig Science, we’ve included relatable real-life scientists to inspire students. In fact, every Twig Science leveled reader features an interview with a real-world scientist, in which they talk about what they do, how they got started, how their work makes a difference, and the cool tools they use. Here are just a few of the scientists we meet in Twig Science leveled readers…
Note: The scientists’ answers are edited to match grade level and reading level. Each leveled reader is available at four levels (Above-Level, On-Level, Below-Level, and English Learner). These interview excerpts are from On-Level readers
Kindergarten: Pushes and Pulls
Dr. Vijay Tymms, Physicist
How did you become interested in science?
I read about planets. They go around the Sun. In big circles! I wanted to know why.
What advice do you have for kids?
Ask questions. But don’t stop at the answers. Keep asking questions!
What tools do you use?
I don’t need many tools. A pencil and paper. A computer. That’s it.
Grade 1: Day and Night
Susan Murabana, Astronomer
What do you do?
I live in Kenya. I go into schools. I let kids look through my telescope. They get to see the planets and stars. It gets kids excited about space. It’s amazing!
Grade 1: Day and Night
Dr. Greg Mosby, Astronomer
Where do you work?
I work mostly in an office. Or a lab. I also go to the mountains. It is very dark. I use big telescopes there.
How did you become interested in stars?
I wanted to do many jobs as a kid. Inventor. Writer. Roller-coaster builder. Then I met some scientists. I learned about planets and stars. I wanted to know more. Now I can!
Grade 2: What Is It Made Of?
Dr. Young-hye Na, Materials Scientist
What do you do?
I lead a team of people. We are creating new materials for a high-powered battery. It will be used in electric cars and cell phones. It can be used in laptops and toys too.
How will your work make a difference?
Our battery will have more power than the ones we use now. It will last longer. Electric cars will travel farther. That will help keep our air clean. Cell phones, laptops, and toys will run a lot longer too.
Grade 4: Shake, Rattle, and Roll
Dr. Rebecca Bell, Seismologist
What does a seismologist do?
We are like detectives. We look for clues about the past in rocks. We study seismic waves. We do experiments and examine data to discover the source, size, and cause of seismic waves. They cause earthquakes.
Is your job dangerous?
We often travel to places that experience big earthquakes and tsunamis to learn more about them. So in this way, maybe the job is a little dangerous. However, many millions of people all over the world live in areas at risk of earthquakes and tsunamis. To conduct experiments we sometimes drive to remote areas in off-road vehicles. Then we dig holes to deploy seismometers, which are powered by large batteries of solar panels. And when we work in areas that are very hot or cold there are some risks.
Grade 6: Biomes
Dr. Samraat Pawar, Ecologist
What does an ecologist do?
Ecologists study the interrelationships between the environment and living organisms. They look at how the environment affects animals and plants. They observe the ways that plants and animals, in turn, affect the environment.
What do you like about your job?
I love the fact that I can tackle important problems in ecology that affect all of us. I have complete freedom to tackle them using my biological understanding, scientific imagination, and modeling skills. Of course, this is in collaboration with many other colleagues.
Albert Einstein once said: “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world and all there ever will be to know and understand.”
I use my scientific imagination to build models of ecosystems. I use my biological knowledge or understanding to keep them as realistic as possible. I then use my computer programming and mathematical skills to extract predictions from these models. The predictions tell me how ecosystems will respond to changing environments.
Twig Science leveled readers give students the opportunity to explore ideas in greater depth at their own pace while meeting real-world scientists and engineers. To learn more, click here.