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08:28 AM on 03/20/2012
Easy: Watching "Mr Wizard" on my Mom's B&W TV, circa 1955. Mom remembers it just as well as I do, her little boy staring open mouthed and wide eyed at the wonders on the CRT screen. That's when she and I both knew!
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Ralph Reinhold
10:43 PM on 03/18/2012
I cannot remember not being interested in science. I was in third grade when I knew I wanted to be a scientist. I was in 7th grade when I realized that engineers were different than scientists. In the end, I became an engineering scientist. I'm 70 and do that kind of thing for the fun of it.
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TJ A
06:58 PM on 03/18/2012
First and foremost, I was a Star Wars kid. Those original movies are responsible for my life long fascination with space and astronomy which continues today. I now teach Astronomy and Earth Science at the high school level. Invariably, a student will ask about aliens and also, invariably, others in the class will think it's a silly question to as the teacher. I always say that it's a great question, if it wasn't for Wookies and Ewoks, I wouldn't be standing in front of them. : )

As for when science took hold? It's probably when as a 12 year old, I was assigned the classic "leaf project" (collect & identify 50 leaves) by my 7th grade life science teacher, Mr. Pete Jarrett. Like most of the kids in my class, I thought this was both ridiculous and impossible. The day after it was assigned, we each had to bring in at least one leaf which we were going to look at under the microscopes. Seeing the leaf under magnification was eye opening to say the least, it was access to a secret world.

Finally, I got to grow up watching Carl Sagan's Cosmos on PBS. Those episodes made quite the impression on my adolescent mind. Those episodes continue to make quite the impression on my adult mind. Read and/or watch Cosmos again, you'll be glad you did. Heck, (re)read anything and everything that Dr. Sagan wrote.
11:39 AM on 03/22/2012
The Demon-Haunted World is my favorite.
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Debbie338
What we manifest is before us
02:01 PM on 03/28/2012
100% agree!
04:41 PM on 03/18/2012
I do not remember when I knew, but I do remember when my mother knew that I was a science geek. I was about 4 years old and I asked her if God created microscopes... 40-something years later, I am still playing with them.... (:-)....
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drsolo
Progressive Wisconsin
11:56 AM on 03/17/2012
When I swapped my barbie doll for a science kit. Well something like that. I been running the swamps and woods since I was 5. My mother drew the line at the garter snake around my neck.
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NikkiDove
Offense is no Weapon
08:26 PM on 03/21/2012
My brother and I would scoop up the snakes and keep them over the winter and let them go in the spring. Our home sheltered not just people but all manner of flora and fauna. Cats, dogs, pigs, birds, snakes, turtles, and guinea pigs. And more plants than I knew the name for.
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JackWhistle
08:39 AM on 03/16/2012
The first time I saw a picture of the sun.
01:27 PM on 03/15/2012
Two years ago, when I was eight, and solved all of Hilbert's 23 problems. Now at twelve there is nothing else to do.
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ProudToBeVeryLiberal
Science is the antidote to the poison of religion
06:22 PM on 03/11/2012
I'll have to give most of the credit for what I've become to Star Trek TNG, which came along when I was in junior high. I was already very interested in science and math and a straight-A student, but initially I wanted to be an astrophysicist. Then after TNG I wanted to design starships so badly and decided that engineering would be a more "hands on" approach. I'm currently working on spacecraft propulsion design.
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Rebecca Searles
Social Community Editor
04:25 PM on 03/12/2012
This is a great Moment I Knew! We encourage you to submit a video of your story.
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04:54 PM on 03/10/2012
Gonna date myself here, but the first time my parents let me stay up past 7:00 was to watch the Apollo 17 launch. I started young.
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DXM
An extreme moderate
10:38 AM on 03/11/2012
I had a similar experience (which dates me even more): My parents let me stay up well past my 7 PM bed time to watch the Apollo 11 moon walk (Armstrong set foot on the Moon just before 11 PM EDT so I was up REALLY late for a seven-year-old).
04:33 PM on 03/21/2012
Very nice kids. I became a science geek the night my parents and grandfather took me out to our backyard to catch a glimpse of Sputnik. My grandfather, who emigrated to the US from from Russia (pre-USSR), could not believe the "backward Soviets" had actually launched a satellite. He turned to me and said: "promise me you will not let them become more advanced than America."

Now I just read that the Tennessee Legislature has passed a bill that will encourage public schools to teach "alternate" scientific theories. Grandpa would not be pleased.
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Rich Cash
Enlisted in 1971 - Retired in 1996
12:10 AM on 03/26/2012
ROFL! You started young? I saw every televised launch from Alan Shepard's first Mercury Mission to Gene Cernan's Apollo 17 Mission. Every time a launch was scheduled, I faked a bellyache or a headache or something that would keep me home from school. Me: "Mom, I don't feel good, I think I'm gonna throw up!" Mom: "Okay, go back to bed." Me: hiding a smile of triumph and a fist-pump! Mom never caught on. When Apollo 17 was launched, I was in basic training. I went to sick call the day before the launch and convinced the doc to remove an ingrown toenail. I was put on bed-rest for three days and watched most of the mission.
nschomer
Scientifically Progressive Libertarian Socialist
02:40 PM on 03/09/2012
I remember seeing a NOVA special on the rare infectious diseases plaguing Africa, and the microbiologists that were trying to help find cures when I was 5 or 6 and thinking I would be a microbiologist when I grew up. A whole lot of detours and 30 years later, I'm a microbiologist - done some work on rare diseases, too.
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JerseyExit4
10:01 PM on 03/08/2012
Check IT!
1. Gilbert Erector Set (THE BIG RED BOX!)
2. Gilbert Chemistry Set.
3. Microscope
4. When Apollo 11 launched, I was the one explaining what each part of the rocket did to my family!
5. Learning Morse code and Building a 2-way telegraph and running the wires between my room, out the window and over to the tree-fort out in the field behind our house.
6. Taking every cent I had and building stuff out of Popular Electronics.
7. Learning how to use a "Slide Rule"!!!

These are all my "Science Geek" moments.
09:14 AM on 03/08/2012
Visiting the Boston MOS - before even entering, seeing portions of the solar system "to scale" and then not wanting to leave...for 3 days...
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oneeasyrider
E=mc2: From light you exist
10:41 PM on 03/08/2012
I can relate to Boston MOS, but for me, I couldn't go to Chicago without visiting Science and Industry Museum, Planetarium and adjacent Aquarium. Can't tell you how much time I spent at all three locations...it never got old.
10:48 PM on 03/08/2012
A city I haven't visited...yet! Thanks for the heads up.
08:31 AM on 03/20/2012
Oh, yes! Favorite B'Day present when I was a boy: a visit to Boston MOS! Still remember when they opened the planetarium there. Walked into the theater, and there stood that monster Zeiss star projector, turning silent and slow on its big gimbal bearings. Sent shivers up my spine!
MWA1111
I'll let you set the tone for our conversation
08:00 AM on 03/08/2012
Always liked taking apart toys to see how they worked and then putting them back together. But what sealed it for becoming an Electrical Engineer was putting together a Heathkit color TV with my father.
05:10 AM on 03/08/2012
I guess the awakening moment occurred in High School science class while studying amoeba and watching them eat. The beginning was going fishing with my Father. I was never asked if I wanted to go. I was told to get in the truck and we always ended up somewhere on the bank of a lake or creek. He often referred to the T.V. as the idiot box with exception to shows that featured Marlin Perkins, Jacques Cousteau or Frank White ( a local fishing guru). Thanks Dad !
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Abigaill Tomsen
03:42 AM on 03/08/2012
For me it was my dad taking me to see 2001 A Space Odyssey. It got me hooked on the pending moon landing and the Apollo program.
Of course 44 years later next to none of the things in that movie that were supposed to be commonplace 11 years ago have happened yet - so disappointing :(
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oneeasyrider
E=mc2: From light you exist
10:44 PM on 03/08/2012
I've seen and read 2001 and 2010 at least ten times over the years...always loved both books movies but especially as you say, 2001 as a kid.