The last two installments of our podcast series have focused on teaching science and how to effectively engage students in the classroom. This time, we take a humorous turn with an episode from The Story Collider podcast. This podcast features scientists, educators, writers, and all sorts of other people who have some story to tell about science and how it has influenced them. Whether it’s about their research or how they got into the field, the stories are always told from their perspective, often to a live audience.
Adam Becker is an astrophysicist and a science communicator and while he always had an interest in science as a kid, it took a certain teacher to put him on the path that led him to where he is today. Becker tells this story in a recent Story Collider episode. In first grade, his science passion switched from dinosaurs to space and his passions ran so deep that everyone noticed when it switched, including his first-grade teacher.
At the end of the year, she asked him to do a presentation on space to his class, and he did so gladly. She kept asking him to present every year after that and he kept doing it through high school, college, and graduate school. It took some time for him to realize that his passion and ability to communicate science stemmed from her and the presentations she encouraged him to give.
Becker’s story is funny and moving and tells a story about how a really great teacher can guide and support a student without them even noticing.