Theories of Everything

Describe the world you come from — for example, your family, community or school — and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations.

My world has been exciting and supportive for all my pursuits in life, but I’m most thankful for how it has exposed me to science and welcomed me into research. Ever since my first encounter with science, I’ve been developing a grand theory in my mind to explain the nature and purpose of it. Since its conception years ago, the theory has evolved with me, collecting disparate observations to become something I put all my hopes in.

In 3rd grade, I studied Isaac Newton’s three laws and recounted to my class the story of his discovery. As a result, I entered the field of research with an intriguing observation: Science happens when an apple clocks you on the head. What could cause a scientist to have an “apple to head” epiphany? In 5th grade, I found an explanation while researching for a report on black holes. My father gave me Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time. I attacked it and loved every page I understood. Armed with new information about the development and confirmation of scientific theory, I proposed and satisfactorily supported a new hypothesis: Scientists put together observations and think a lot to create new ideas.

In 8th grade, I took “Honors Physical Science,” my first real science course. The challenging,...

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