Sydney - Observation, Questions and Making Choices
I hope you all are enjoying your summer! My science project started in the summer, when I had more time to think about the challenges we are facing every day. As you know from my first blog, I like to observe the environment surrounding me and ask questions. In 6th grade, my curiosity in science led me to become an active team member on my school’s Science Olympiad team. I truly enjoyed the three events I competed (anatomy, water quality and genetics). As a result, I became deeply interested in human biology and other subjects.
So, I started asking many questions about health and diseases. I read and learned about cancer, diabetes and heart diseases through internet or media channels. These diseases are the leading causes of death in the United States and around the world. However, there are also many diseases that are not life threatening but have great impacts on the quality of life of many people, such as diseases related to vision, hearing and memory. For example, nearsightedness becomes a major health challenge in young children like me. It makes our life very hard as we can’t see things clearly in our daily activities. It is estimated that by 2050, there will be 50% of world population becoming nearsighted.
I had to make a choice and narrow down my interests. There are many reasons to pick one project over another one. Each young scientist has their own reasoning with many factors. For me, the choice is very personal. I started to have blurry vision when I was 9 years old (see my photo at the time). Both my mom and my brother wear glasses or contact lens. My grandpa has dry eye disease while my grandma has glaucoma. Eye diseases and treatment are common topics at our dinner table. I truly want to find a solution to help all patients affected by eye diseases (including myself and my family) so we all can have clear and comfortable vision. To solve the problems and to address the unmet needs of the world, I believe these are the driving force to the 3M scientists as well.
Now that I narrowed down my interests on vision related diseases, I will tell you how I started my research project next time. Stay cool and stay tuned!
Syd the Science Kid
From San Diego, CA