Hey everybody, my name is Patrick Winch, and I’m a freshman from Silver Spring, Maryland- about 20 minutes north of DC.
Personally, I’ve had many bad experiences with science classes. In high school, I took biology and chemistry my freshman and sophomore years. I didn’t do too well in either, so I decided not to take a science junior year, but then had to take a sports exercise and health science class my senior year. So basically, I haven’t even taken physics, which might be an issue. In addition to that, my mom is an English teacher and my dad is a musician. The sciences don’t really run in my family, which is one of the reasons why being a science major is more or less out of the question. But with that being said, I’ve always loved space. I watched Star Wars religiously as a child, and that love was revived with the new movie. When I was little, I wanted to be an astronaut- but that ideal was crushed when I came to the realization that I wasn’t very good at math or science. At NSO when I was planning my schedule, my advisor recommended this class to me. I remember reading the description and immediately wanting to take the course.
Like I said before, space has always amazed me. I went to a Catholic middle school, and my eighth grade religion teacher taught my class syllogisms and proofs of God’s existence. He was a proponent of the idea that science and religion work hand in hand, and one of the proofs he taught stated the fact that the universe is expanding over time. He explained that if we were to go back in time, the universe would contract up until the point of non existence- the same point at which an external force would be needed for creation. In my opinion, religion and science are both very human in their own ways. Religion focuses on human connection with an intangible force or forces, and science focuses on the world around us and outside of us, and how we interact with those worlds. So, with that being said, I hope this course allows me to deepen my understanding of the role of science in our world and how it can relate to other areas of study.
I still watch Star Wars pretty often- in fact; I even joined the Star Wars club here at PSU. When I was younger, I never fully understood or appreciated the science behind the movies. The National Geographic article I found, which can be accessed HERE, explains some of that science that attracted me as a young boy and still amazes me today.