What It Feels Like To Have A Life Fulfilled By Science

By Jacob Frye // As told to Nico Chiappetta

My passion for science first came to me in sixth grade when I had my first actual science class. We were learning the basics of physics and chemistry and I loved everything about it; it was my favorite class. After my little introductory of science, a whole new world was opened up for me to explore.

As a kid, my interest for physics sparked. I would build things using wood in my basement for consecutive hours at a time. One of my favorite projects that I ever built was a robotic mechanical arm. I bought a kit that had all the parts, gears and steps, so I didn’t build it out of scratch, but it was still very difficult to do. In order to build the arm, I had to place each gear into a specific place that allowed all the areas to move and rotate in harmony. Every piece had a designated placement and all the parts added up to make it work; it was fascinating. Next, I built a motor with a battery and then attached gears to it. Once I was done with that, the arm was able to move up and down. Then, I made a system of wires to be able to move the arm side to side. The wiring also gave the arm the ability to grab and pick things up. I was so astonished that I was able to make it work that I tried to find similar projects to challenge myself even more.

I wish I could have focused on chemistry a little more when I was younger, but my parents didn’t want me do chemical experiments in my basement because possible explosions and things like that. Sadly, now that I’m in high school and busy, I can’t really do as many projects, but whenever I have free time I try to continue working on my numerous projects or start a new one.

What most people don’t realize is how often they use science in their everyday lives. Your daily physics, chemistry or biology classes are not even the half of it. For starters, the way our body functions is all science; transferring blood cells around our body and back to the heart, converting food into energy and don’t even get me started on the nervous system; it’s phenomenal.

The way technology is built is revolved around science developments, too. Technology is so important in today’s society. Computers are able to do so much and now that we have phones, we can literally carry a computer in our pocket. It’s absolutely stunning.

Technology plays a very important role in my everyday life, especially for my small engines class. One of our projects was to build an engine using a 3D printer. My group’s biggest predicament so far was how to make each individual piece the right size and shape without it snapping. Basically, we just kept printing pieces over and over again until we got something that sort of worked, then we built the engine from there. This project ended up taking a very long time to accomplish because we essentially ran a trial and error experiment, which was definitely not the right way to go about it.

Contrary to most people, my favorite scientist isn’t Einstein, Darwin or Newton; it’s Nikola Tesla. His invention of the AC Current—an electric current which periodically reverses direction and converts to a DC current—powers all outlets. That is definitely one of the most popular inventions and most important, at least in my opinion. In general, Tesla was just a great guy, too; he was very selfless, donating everything he had. I really admire that about him.

After I graduate high school and college, I want to pursue a career as a mechanical engineer. Mechanical engineers design and build machines that are powered by energy. Rocketships, cars, planes and boats are all made by mechanical engineers. Physics is what I love to do and mechanical engineering is the perfect job for someone who’s as intrigued in physics as I am. Designing and building projects is one of my favorite activities to do and I can’t wait to devote my life to science.