It was a typical Wednesday afternoon. Students in the classroom sat mundanely slouched, eyes prosaically drifting between the board and their notebooks. The day transpired in typical fashion for the teens, oblivious to the mild-mannered superhero in their midst.
With an air of greatness thoroughly hidden beneath his teenage façade, Atticus Chanse, the Real Science-4-Kids November ‘Super Scientist’, blends well among his classmates while standing out as a leader to his keen-eyed teachers. Atticus, the type of student every teacher dreams of having in class, is the first to volunteer a helping hand or offer a kind word. This eigth-grader is also someone you know you can count on for a good laugh.
I had the opportunity to sit down with Atticus at the conclusion of the school day for an interview. I’m so pleased I was able to learn more about this intriguing ‘Super Scientist’.
Never one to be presumptuous, when pressed to reveal his superhero identity, Atticus merely stated that he hasn’t discovered it yet. He’s waiting for life’s circumstances to reveal the name to him. It seems that’s one of his superhero assets, the ability to be open to possibility and opportunity. That’s a much more useful tool than Invisible Boy’s superpower. It seems rather impractical to be invisible only when people aren’t looking, as Invisible Boy claims to be. It’s much better to be mentally flexible and ready to analyze new information, like Atticus.
It also turns out Atticus isn’t interested in flashy powers like that annoying Spiderman. We get it, Spiderman. You can shoot cool spider webs from your wrists. What else have you got? Atticus, on the other hand, hopes to develop super memory capacity with lightning fast information retrieval.
After a few moments of chatting with this ‘Super Scientist’, Atticus eagerly dove into my questions.
RS4K: So, you’re in the process of discovering your superhero identity. Are you fairly certain you’ll wind up on the superhero side? Or, do you think there is a possibility of you becoming a supervillain?
Atticus: I’m most definitely on the superhero side.
RS4K: Out of the 5 core science disciplines, which is your favorite?
Atticus: I love the challenge of staying on task in all of my science endeavors, but biology and physics are both favorites. I love biology because it doesn’t require as much math and I get to study and learn about things that are really interesting to me. Even though physics has more math, it’s also interesting and creative. I love having the ability to take random items and create something completely new.
RS4K: Tell me about one of your favorite experiments.
Atticus: My favorite experiment was actually a pretty recent one. We got to dissect a starfish.
RS4K: I’ll bet that was pretty nasty smelling.
Atticus: Well, it wasn’t as stinky as the squid or shark. Those smelled pretty bad. I’m getting used to that now though. The smells don’t bother me as much as they did.
RS4K: Since science is all about trial, error, and discovery, can you tell me about an experiment that went wrong? What did you do to assess and try again?
Atticus: Actually, we had a failure in class today. In physics, we were running an experiment with a car that would travel down a ramp. We had to determine the speed of the car as a measure of distance and time. Our numbers kept coming out wrong and we had to analyze our calculations to discover what the problem was. It turns out we were adding a zero when we moved the decimal and it was throwing off our results. Once we figured out what the problem was, we were able to correct it and get the right numbers.
RS4K: Do you have any science heroes you look up to?
Atticus: I’ve always looked up to Benjamin Franklin because of his persistence. He’s the first that comes to mind.
RS4K: Are there any new scientific advancements that interest you? Perhaps one that might be used to further your superhero pursuits?
Atticus: I find 3-D printing to be highly fascinating. My dad recently went to a conference where a guy found himself without a pair of shoes for some reason. The people at the conference got busy right there and printed a new pair of shoes for him. I think that’s both interesting and useful.
Atticus tells me he is planning to minor in biology before
heading to law school. He’s got big plans and just the right attitude to get
him there. His language arts teacher agrees. She told me the toughest part of
having Atticus in class is finding books he hasn’t already read. When she offers
him a book to read, she finds herself regularly responding with the stymied villain’s
retort, “Rats, foiled again!”. He seems to have read nearly her entire library.
She agrees he will make a fine ‘Super Scientist’.
Your budding scientist could be our featured hero. From science fair exhibits and classroom projects to self-run science experiments, we want to hear about them all. Each month we will select one 'Super Scientist' to highlight as our Hero of the Month. We want to celebrate your successes with you. Let us know about them!
Make a submission. Your story matters. Large or small, we want to hear about them all.
Send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include a photo along with your story and we can share your experience on our website. Video clips may also be included, as long as permission is granted for a YouTube platform.