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What is science?

Meet the scientists!

Liesl Hotaling, Internet Training Specialist, Center for Improved Engineering and Science Education (CIESE), Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey.

Liesl HotalingIn her free time, Liesl Hotaling likes to work in her yard and on her house. The big joke is that the house will finally be fixed in time for her to move! She enjoys spending quality time with her dog, Max, who truly runs the house. She likes spending time with friends and going to local concerts. Liesl is a fan of many different types of music.

Why are you a scientist?
I think it is a combination of several factors. I grew up in a small town with lots of woods and creeks to explore. I was encouraged to explore, turn over rocks, dig in the garden, and to ask questions. My parents made sure to bring me to museums, encouraged me to try new activities, and stayed involved with my education both in and outside of school.

What is science?
The world is an amazing and dynamic place, filled with incredible creatures and powerful systems. Science is the vehicle in which to explore the world. Scientists make observations, describe what they think they have observed, and try to give some order to the interactions in the world.

What skills and qualities are necessary in order to be a scientist?
A scientist needs to be able to ask questions, take risks both mentally and physically, have dedication and tenacity, possess good interpretive skills, be a good communicator, and be able to "think different."

What is most enjoyable about your job?
Seeing someone’s face light up as they say, "I get it now." I really enjoy working with teachers and students to make that happen.

What frustrations do you face with your job?
The commute. Funding issues.

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The bold words that are on this page are words that are in the glossary. You can find their meanings below.

If you want to see the whole glossary, click here.

full of energy; lively; active; strong

difficult or impossible to believe

explanatory; giving information

patience, grit, toughness, strength, nerve

a way to communicate or express oneself; something used to carry people or things