As a kid, I thought that all scientists dressed in a white coat and goggles, ready to mix chemicals and use fancy equipment in a lab. I didn't realize that in playing outdoors, catching insects, and asking questions, I was doing science. Now as a field biologist, I am constantly inspired by the natural curiosity in young kids. I hope to help kids see the scientist in themselves by showing them that there is more than one way to be a scientist, and encouraging their curiosity.
Many thanks to my husband for helping bring this story to life.
“Drive faster!” urged Molly. “Oh, please don’t be late!
It’s Dress like a Scientist Day. I can’t wait!”
And soon the bus stopped and she sped off to class,
where Molly discovered that she did not match.
“It’s Dress like a Scientist Day”, proclaimed Dale.
“So where is your lab coat, and what’s in that pail?”
“And where are your goggles,” asked Henry, appalled.
“It seems you’ve forgotten to dress up at all!”
“I haven’t forgotten,” said Molly, “don’t fear.
Today is my favorite day of the year!”
Her classmates all gathered around her, confused.
She must be mistaken, or this was a ruse.
“I’m dressed to do science,” said Molly, “it’s true.
From overall pants to these waterproof shoes!
“My science is nature and takes place outdoors.
So now can you tell what this bucket is for?”
“But wait,” said Sophia, “I don’t understand.
I didn’t think scientists played in the sand.”
“There’s all kinds of science,” said Molly, with pride.
“And I prefer doing my science outside!”
“Can we do that too? Are you sure we’re allowed?”
“Of course, you can!” Molly said, even more proud.
“There’s science in sunlight, the moon and the stars.
One day we’ll have scientists living on Mars!
“There’s science in elephants, monkeys, and goats.
Some even do science in oceans, on boats!
“Some study computers, still others keep bees.
In forests some people do science in trees!”
“I have one!” said Emma, who blurted out loud,
“My science is weather, like rain and storm clouds!”
“I’ve got it!” said Wyatt, now grabbing his box.
“Is there a way I can do science with rocks?”
“Why sure you can Wyatt! And why stop at stones?
There’s science in fossils and dinosaur bones!
“And rockets, and airplanes, and, submarines, trains.
Did you know that some people study the brain?”
“Wow Molly, we want to be scientists too!
Tomorrow I think we should all dress like you!”
“No need to do that friends! In fact please refrain.
Not every scientist dresses the same!
“In trees you wear helmets, on boats you wear boots.
On Mars don’t forget to wear astronaut suits!”
“Eureka!” yelled Hanna, “I know just which pants
I’ll wear in the field to do science with plants!”
“Aha!” exclaimed Bella, “before I embark,
I’ll need to wear flippers for swimming with sharks!”
“But what about me?” said Jack, “what should I wear?
I love my lab coat and mad scientist hair!
“And goggles for safety to cover my eyes,
since chemical science is full of surprise!”
“That’s great Jack,” said Molly, “and yes we should note,
all kinds of great scientists need their lab coats.
“There’s more than one way you can dress for the part.
I guess you could say it’s both science and art!”
“That’s right,” said the teacher, “so here’s what we’ll do.
“Tomorrow, let’s dress for the science we choose!”
In part, this story is inspired by my ever-curious god daughters, Molly (who is a proud owner of "field scientist" Chacos) and Emma, and my cousins Isabella, Sophia, Henry, Wyatt, and Jack. Love you all!
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