What Science Means to Me

Jason A. Silva

June 14, 2016

Close your eyes and think about science. I bet you envision a laboratory. Maybe someone in a lab coat? Perhaps you think of technology in general, or even your last trip to a museum. Science is all these things to me…and more importantly, to all of us.

I remember when my chemistry class in high school took a trip to the junior college science department. Wow! We were in awe of all the high tech, shiny stuff. We didn’t know what half of it was, but that didn’t matter. We were excited about the unknown. We wanted to be there when something happened.

I was a freshman at the time and by my senior year, I was leaving campus early to attend college physics classes. Others were doing the same. I know my visit to the “unknown” was the catalyst for me to push myself to discover new things. Science is that never-ending quest to the unknown. When scientists push the limits and document their findings for others to learn from, it’s the definition of progress.

When someone asks me how all this figures into my daily life, I cannot resist sharing the three “success principles” I credit to science:

  • Question Everything – if you are not looking to see why something works, you won’t be looking when it doesn’t
  • Think Big & Share – having an idea is worthless unless you do something with it – sharing it is the start
  • Don’t Get Too Serious – innovation is often birthed by chance and having fun promotes it

My son, learning about bugs // photo by Me.

My son is in third grade now and sadly, I see less opportunities for him than there were for me. Considering all the advancements in technology, you’d think there would be more. Cuts to school programs and civic infrastructure have left our next generation at a severe disadvantage. Something has to fill in the gaps; something has to excite our next big thinkers. If we’re unable to bring it to each and every school, we as a community can consolidate our resources and create a central hub for this important learning experience.

Over the past few years, I’ve been the design architect for the Powerhouse Science Center. It all started with our legacy Discovery Museum Space & Science Center (who from this region didn’t go there as a kid?). The plan is to expand and transform their programs and become a premier regional leader in science education. With great excitement, many individuals and institutions have jumped to support this project. We’re on our way but still need your help.

On June 21, the City Council unanimously approved funding to complete construction documents for Phase 1 (rehabilitation of the Powerhouse building). That’s great news! To ensure this project and its value to our community is not overshadowed by other interests, please follow the lead of the City Council. Take the opportunity to share this project with your friends and voice your support for the future of science in the Sacramento region. 

For me, the Powerhouse Science Center is that bright and shiny science laboratory that will excite and encourage kids of all ages in our community to look out, above and beyond. The unknown is out there. Let’s not keep it waiting.

Powerhouse Science Center, 2011

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