i just had to make my own toys
Soccer balls made from plastic bags and newspapers, and toy cars made from scrap wires were the kinds of toys l had growing up. At my home we relied on the work of our own hands. I was privileged enough to get all the toys l wanted- l just had to make them.
By the age of six l could make my own toys. My love for science grew mainly from this time l spent improvising and creating; science requires the same creativity as much as making a toy car from scrap materials. I remember the first wire car l created. l made it from rusty wire l had gathered from a nearby scrapyard. I used bottle caps, obtained from a local bottle store, as wheels. To assemble the parts, l used soft wires from unused electrical cables. Some may have regarded all this as trash, but in my scientist eyes l saw life. Science gives life to nothingness.
Recently, during my gap year, my four year old brother asked me to make him the toy car I had made for myself more than 10 years ago. As l bent a wire back and forth to break it, something else struck me - the wire was hot at the point of bending. It was obviously something l had experienced before and had always wondered why it was like that. Now l had the answer. "The vibrational motion of the atoms in the wire is causing the heat", l said to myself, proud of the six years l had spent in high school acquiring scientific knowledge. Such is the beauty of science. I find fascination with the way it tries to explain almost anything that can cross my mind. Connecting something that sounds so simple to scientific principles is more intriguing.
Though it wasn't a real car l was making, I looked at it as though it was a real one. As I shaped the metal frames of the body and attached the wheels to the axle to create the car my little brother so anticipated, I rediscovered the physics behind each design. Like how the car had a bullet shape to reduce drag. Or how the base was wide to increase its stability. Every time I found a scientific explanation to something we see every day but never get to ask why, I felt powerful. In science everything has a factual basis, much like every situation in life. I have learnt to break everything down and assess the facts before making any judgements.
In high school l never felt insecure when my colleagues called me a "nerd" every time they saw me reading a science fiction novel during a compulsory siesta or simply commenting on the visible light spectrum displayed by the rainbow. Instead, l felt proud that people recognized my passions and hence giving me greater reasons to pursue them.
I wasn't naturally gifted in science subjects, however, but it's the love I have for science that made me study science even when I didn't get the grades l expected. I failed my first math class. Consequently, I looked for the student with the highest mark to help me. I read more than the assigned textbooks to better understand the more abstract concepts. I gave not only my time but myself as well.
Science excites me and l aspire more: to learn more and to create as what my own childhood taught me. I will help come up with solutions for future problems and I will engineer new technologies. I want to contribute my knowledge in creating the first quantum computer or even the first effective nanorobot. Science is my passion and certainly my ambition.