Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Why and how did you become a scientist?
Name: burbank school
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 1999

Why and how did you become a scientist?

Hi! Thanks for your question!

I'm a Zoologist, that is, I specialize in animal biology. The main reason I'm a scientist, is because way back in High School, I decided that I would pursue a career that I enjoy, so I could have fun going to "work" everyday.

Throughout High School and college, most of my favorite classes were in biology and the natural sciences, and in the end, that's what made me choose zoology as a degree.

That isn't to say that I always knew what I "wanted to be". On the contrary, I really didn't make any decisions on what I would be until I was already in college for 3 years. Mainly, I waited so long because I had interest in many different careers, and was busy taking classes in many different fields to learn more about as many of these careers as possible. I learned a lot about many different things, and all of this helped me in one way or another, but it's also VERY expensive. So, if you're going to college, and if you can make a decision when you're younger, I'm sure that would be to your advantage.

Best Wishes in whatever you choose to do!


When I was in high school, I was interested in writing, photography, and science or some combination of these as a career. I eventually realized that scientists do a lot of writing but writers don't necessarily do much science, so I leaned towards the scientist route. I was lucky to have a series of FANTASTIC middle school and high school science teachers, despite the fact that I went to 5 different schools over the course of that time. They really got my interest in science started. In college I wasn't sure what kind of scientist I wanted to be, so I took classes I thought any scientist could use for 2 years; calculus, chemistry, biology, physics, computers... plus humanities and language classes. I focused in on physics, but continued to take chemistry classes too. Eventually I couldn't decide betwen physics and chemistry, mostly because I did undergraduate research in 3 chemistry groups but none in the physics department. So, I decided to earn a Ph.D. in physical chemistry, and in preparation for that I stayed in college for a fifth year and got a double major in physics and chemistry.

Hope this helped satisfy your curiosity-

All the best,


I started getting interested in weather when I was about in 5th and 6th grade. I grew up in the Chicago area. When I was in 5th grade Chicago had its biggest snowstorm of all-time. 23 inches! A few months later there was an outbreak of devastating tornadoes, including Belvidere and Oak Lawn. I started reading up on tornadoes and storms at the library and my interest grew. So I guess I knew fairly early on that I wanted to be a meteorologist. I took as much science as I could in highschool, then looked for colleges/universities with good meteorology programs. Now I am a forecaster for the National Weather Service. I am getting paid to do something that I really enjoy! There is still so much more to learn about weather forecasting. And no matter how good you think you are at forecasting, mother nature always has surprises. It is a humbling but challenging job.


Click here to return to the General Topics Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory