I grew up in a small town at the outskirts of the Washington D.C. metro area, the oldest of seven children. A very inquisitive child, I took apart any electronics that had broken in the house, and read every book I could get my hands on at the local library. As the eldest child in the family, I arranged activities for the younger ones. I assigned them “art projects,” requiring gallons of paint, reams of paper, and untold quantities of glue and glitter over the years. My fondest memories are of lying out on the front lawn with my siblings on warm summer nights, answering their questions about the universe (as a voracious book-reader, I was of course an expert.)
Up until about the age of 10, I wanted to be an artist when I grew up. This changed when a science and technology high school opened in a neighboring county. Going there and studying to become a scientist became my new dream.