For the prompt: "Scientific exploration clearly excites you (otherwise you wouldn't be applying to Caltech). What is it about Caltech's opportunities and resources that will best fuel your intellectual curiosity and develop your passion for science, technology, math or engineering?" I didn't really know how to approach this prompt, so I started with why I am interested in Science. I only mentioned Caltech's opportunities a bit...is the essay too vague? Should I include more specifics on Caltech's resources???
Other children liked Disneyland. I liked the Griffith Observatory. Every year without fail, my father loaded my mother, my siblings, and me into the mini-van, and we zoomed towards this "Magic Kingdom."
When we arrived, my parents stood in line to buy tickets for the planetarium show while we three children ran to look at the exhibits. I grabbed my siblings, and we made our way through the crowd towards the giant pendulum hanging from the middle of the vaulted ceiling. Due to the Earth's rotation and some dedicated mathematician's calculations, every hour the pendulum knocks over a few pegs surrounding it (I have since learned that this is called the Foucault pendulum). Our eyes followed the path of the swinging orb, back and forth until we have been hypnotized.
Right as a peg fell over, my father announced his presence by loudly praising the "perfection of the calculations! Behold the beauty of physics! Maybe one day you'll be able to calculate this too, Katherine." My father, ever the engineer, moved on to explain the mechanics of the Tesla coil, but my mind still lingered on the idea of becoming an engineer just like my dad. Being young and impressionable, I made up my mind: I wanted to invent cool new technologies which could be marveled at and put in a museum.
Over time, my understanding of engineering has changed, but my dreams of engineering have not. I want to use science to change the world; I want to design a new, improved world. I still want to use science to invent new technology that can benefit society. I can see myself in the Spitzer Science Center, indulging my inner scientist by monitoring the giant telescope. But first of all, I would like to calculate how to properly set up a Foucault pendulum.