National Science Week is here (13-21 August) and if you’re a STEM lover, you’ll be hanging out for all the cool events, competitions, and other exciting stuff headed your way.
If you’ve just never been into STEM and science leaves you cold, there could still be lots of great resources and fun things to get involved with. Wondering why you should bother? Well, science literally is life, and it’s embedded into tonnes of different elements of your life – even if you haven’t linked them yet.
Why you need science
The fact that you’re here at all is down to science, and let’s face it, our bodies and brains are pretty much living science labs. Breathing, eating, drinking and all the other functions that keep you alive? That’s science too.
The streaming music you access, the phone you depend on, the Netflix that entertains you, the clothes you’re wearing, the deodorants, toiletries, and cosmetics that you use – it’s all available thanks to the advancement of science.
Let’s take a look at a few other areas of your life where science comes into play.
Your body is a temple
Knowing what foods to eat to keep yourself healthy, vitamin supplements and medications that you might need to help you along the way – they’re all derived from science.
Everything to do with the world of medicine (even if it’s derived from nature) is science, since we need to know what it’s made up of, how it can be used, what quantities are needed, and more. Most, if not all, of the gadgetry essential for paramedics, nurses, doctors, and surgeons to do their work and keep us in good shape has been developed over the years by scientists.
The food chain
Our days of hunting and gathering are over (and we’re pretty happy about that), but that also means our food is grown by farmers. With the assistance of genetic modification, farming practises and equipment, and pest and disease management, food is more widely available than ever – all thanks to the world of science.
Once you’ve got your food home, even the way you prepare it is science. Storing and preparing your food safely is all science, and let’s not forget the art of cooking and the “magic” (AKA…science) that can transform your eggs into an omelette, cake, meringue, or custard!
In fact, you need physics, chemistry, maths and biology just to make a recipe and eat it. Incredible really.
Getting from A to B
All modes of transport, even if you’re walking, involve science. From the vehicle you’re using (engineering) and the fuel it needs (chemistry), to how you use it (physics) – yep, it’s all science again.
Staying in touch
Writing an old-fashioned letter? Even the pen and paper you’ll need are the results of science. Using a computer or a phone – well technology and science go together like Oxygen and breathing. The internet, apps, you guessed it: science.
Powering your world
Without energy there are lots of aspects of our lives that wouldn’t be possible, from lights and TVs, radios and Wi-Fi, to transport and refrigeration. The discovery of atomic energy made it possible to harness the advanced forms of energy that we use in our everyday life.
Thanks to science, it’s even possible to harness energy from the sun, wind, and water.
Science is in all the small parts of your life too
If you ever loved playing in a playground, the angle of the slide and height of the swing all comes down to science. Want to fly a kite? The angle of elevation, your speed and the space you’ve got available will determine your success.
Every single machine you use and rely on involves science. Just think about it for a minute. From your alarm clock and kettle in the morning, to your hot water tank for your shower (in fact the construction of the house you’ve living in too), the calculator you use in class, to the lamp you use to read before bed.
Urban planners, engineers (civil and environmental), and construction trades create the sustainable communities you live in using all kinds of processes and materials developed by science.
Even artists and musicians are influence by science. The materials and instruments they use, the processes they employ, and more are all scientific to degrees.
Whether you like it or not, maths is also a huge factor in daily life. If you’re calculating budgets, planning road trips, keeping track of sales, or as we said before just cooking dinner, you’ll be using maths.
Reframe how you see science
Take a fresh look around you and see how science appears in so many ways. Then no matter what your passion is, perhaps look for the science angle and focus on that during Science Week.
You never know – it may change your interest in STEM, or it might give you new careers and interests to pursue.