It's All About Science!

Scientists are Superheros

The first thing that comes to mind when you think of a capital 'S' worn proudly by someone, might be a Superhero - what's not so obvious is that 'S' should really be on a lab-coat (probably on the back since they open in the front. Details...) 

 

While Scientists don't fly through the air (yet), modern flight wouldn't be possible if Scientists hadn't made it so.  That goes for everything in our everyday lives - I dare you to look around you right now and find anything that hasn't been cataloged, interpreted, created, or influenced by Science in some way.  It can't be done!

 

We're all Scientists. Yes, that means you too!

We may not all be classically trained, standing in a lab mixing up the next big discovery in Chemistry, working on a dig in some lonely desert, or writing complex formulas on a whiteboard (or chalkboard if you're really old-school).  However, every time you change the way you do things through trial and error... you're doing Science.  It doesn't matter if it's finding a new way to use the tools you have, or inventing new tools and processes, those efforts amount to experimentation - that makes every single one of us Scientists.

Often times, the most progressive and impactful outcomes from experimentation are unexpected, and are derived by accident from a completely different, original goal.  There are countless stories of Scientists working on one thing and discovering another as a completely unintended consequence of their work.  There are even more stories of Citizen Scientists coming up with amazing new ideas... some of them great, some not so much... More often than not, it's failure that's the catalyst to overwhelming success.  Sometimes failure is just a learning experience... One thing is certain: Experiment equals Experience, and experience (good or bad) always presents an opportunity.

 

Your Inner Scientist

I urge you to look at the things around you as tools, and how you use those tools as processes.  If you practice this daily you'll become more aware of your Inner Scientist.

For example: the device you're using to read this page is a tool.  The way you arrived at this page is a process.  What you do with the information you find here is the experience you derive from the experiment of navigating to this site for whatever reason you chose to do so.  Science can be applied to everything.

Even something as simple as unlocking your front door can be Described Scientifically:

  1. Go to the front door

  2. Find the door lock

  3. Recognize and select the appropriate key

  4. Insert the key into the lock

  5. Rotate the key to unlock the door

  6. Remove the key

  7. Rotate the lock handle

  8. Push the door open

  9. Enter your house

Most people perform these nine steps, or some variation of them, in seconds without thinking about it - but as Observed here, it is an algorithm; a clearly articulated set of steps to get from "a to b" so to speak.  We just turned the simple act of unlocking your front door into a form of Scientific Notation that's used ever day in laboratories to consistently perform experiments, and by software engineers to write code that achieves complex behavior.

Challenge

How would you write an algorithm for using a DarkSky mobile Telescope? What do you want to look at and what do you want to get out of the experiment?

 

HINT: Some of the key parts of your algorithm can be found in the first paragraph of the About DarkSky page.

 
Science is everywhere.
 
You Are a Scientist.
 
Start Observing and Experimenting!