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Exploration

Careers

Look it up!

Like to do a little of everything? Well, you can take those interests and turn them into a job. Here are just a few ideas:

'Coaster Engineer

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What's a Rollercoaster Engineer?

How high should a roller coaster go? How strong should the safety bar be? How much water makes a waterslide slippery? Have you ever wondered who designs and builds the roller coasters, water slides, carousels, and other rides at amusement parks?

Rollercoaster engineers also known as amusement park designers take an idea for a ride and figure out how to turn that idea into reality, making it exciting yet safe. These designers usually major in engineering in college, be it mechanical, civil, industrial, or electrical and computer engineering.

Read more...

What are you like?

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What's a Rollercoaster Engineer?

An engineer who designs amusement park attractions in the U.S. can earn from $45,000 to more than $70,000 per year depending on degree level (B.S., M.S., or PhD.) and number of years' experience.

What Are You Like?

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Things to Do

Read more...

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People

Meet real Imagineers who work for Disney! Victoria Aguilera is a mechanical engineer and Oksana Wall is a civil engineer.

Jeff Pike is a roller coaster designer. Riding roller coasters is a part of his job!

Meet an engineering student whose class project makes it possible for people in wheelchairs to ride amusement park rides.

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Classes to Take

If you think a career as an amusement park attraction designer sounds like it might be for you, think about taking these classes in high school:

  • Math, including Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, and Calculus
  • Physics
  • Electronics
  • Business
  • Psychology
  • Computer science, if your school has it.

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What Are You Like?

  • Do you like amusement park rides?
  • Do you like building things?
  • Do you like imagining how things could work better or be more fun?
  • Do you notice safety details, and try to keep your friends from getting hurt?

If you answered yes, a career as an amusement park attraction designer might be right for you.

Aerospace Engineer

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What is an Aerospace Engineer?

Aerospace engineers design, construct, and operate aircraft, aerospace vehicles, and propulsion systems. As an aerospace engineer you might design a plane, a glider, a helicopter, missiles, or spacecraft. Aerospace engineers also research, develop, and test new materials, engines, and body shapes and structures that may increase the speed and strength of airborne vehicles.

What are you like?

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Things to Do

Read more...

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Things to Do

Part of being an Aerospace Engineer is asking a lot of questions:

  • Play tinker ball to see what kind of inventor you are.

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People

Meet Ellen Ochoa, inventor, scientist and first Hispanic woman in space.

Visit the NASA Team Gallery. In addition to astronauts, the gallery shows everyone on the NASA team who make space flight possible, like Anthony Bruins. Click on his picture to find out more.

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Classes to Take

If you think a career as an aerospace engineer sounds like it might be for you, think about taking these classes in high school:

  • Math
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Computer science, if your school has it.

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Do you think Aerospace Engineering might be right for you?

  • Do you like reading about space?
  • Do you like science?
  • Do you like trying to figure out how things work?

If you answered yes, a career as an aeronautics engineer might be right for you.

Astronaut

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What Does an Astronaut Do?

Did you know that the word "astronaut" comes from a Greek word meaning "space sailor?" Astronauts are scientists who are trained to travel into outer space in spacecrafts.

Astronauts help other scientists by gathering information about the environment in space and on other planets, and by observing the earth from a great distance. They study the Sun and how it affects Earth, and work with satellites in space to help to predict earthquakes and tsunamis.

An astronaut’s salary ranges between $40,000 and $80,000 per year

What Are You Like?

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Books to Read

Try finding some great books in your local library:

  • I want to be Astronaut by Byron Barton.

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Things to Do

  • Go to Mars! Well, at least play the Blast Off on Mars Adventure and prepare yourself and your crew for a 9 month space journey to Planet Mars.
  • Learn about Black Holes
  • Join Arty the Astronaut on some space adventures like calculating your age on different planets, playing Galaxy Ball, or Martian Marbles.
  • Read about very, very small spacecraft called Nanosats, and learn how and why all the electronic and mechanical parts of a spacecraft are very light weight and able to fit into a very small space.

More Things to Do

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Who's an Astronaut

Ellen Ochoa became an astronaut when she was 33 years old and was the first Hispanic woman to do so.

Edward Tsang Lu was a research physicist working in the fields of solar physics and astrophysics before becoming an astronaut. In addition to his work, he also enjoys aerobatic flying, coaching wrestling, piano, tennis, surfing, skiing, and travel.

Sunita Williams is both a commander and mission specialist for NASA, who has logged more than 2300 hours of flight time on 30 different aircraft.

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Classes to Take

In addition to the courses you take now, think about taking these classes in high school:

  • Math
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Computer science, if your school has it

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What are You Like?

  • Do you enjoy reading or watching movies about space?
  • Do you enjoy math and science at school?
  • Do you like studying the physical world?,/li>
  • Do you like figuring out how things work?

If you answered yes to these questions, you have many of the skills to be a successful Astronaut!

Auto Engineer

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What's an Automotive Engineer?

Air bags. Anti-lock brakes. Hybrid engines. These are just three examples of inventions scientists and engineers created to improve the automobile. What will cars be like in the future? Ask an automotive engineer.

As an automotive engineer, you design or test automobiles and automobile parts. Automotive engineers usually study mechanical, industrial, chemical, or electrical and computer engineering in college. Different engineers work on different parts of a car.

Read more on Automobile Engineers...

What Are You Like?

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For example, a mechanical engineer may test tire performance, while an industrial engineer may design part of the assembly line that produces the car. A chemical engineer may research different fuels, while an electrical engineer might create a computerized system to monitor engine efficiency.

An automotive engineer in the U.S. can earn from $45,000 to more than $70,000 per year depending on degree level (B.S., M.S., or PhD.), number of years experience, and region of the country.

What Are You Like?

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Things to Do

Books to Read

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Books to Read

Read about a team of high school kids from North Carolina who built an electric car in Electric Dreams: One Unlikely Team of Kids and The Race to Build the Car of the Future!

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People

Meet Frank at Nissan Motorsports He recommends taking hands-on automotive classes at school.

Engineers design other vehicles, too! Watch this interview with bicycle designers. and this interview with a bicycle test engineer.

Lynn Moore uses her electrical engineering background as the manager of Saturn’s body paint operations.

What is it like to work at Ford Motor Company? Find out from Ford employees!

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Classes to Take

In addition to the courses you take now, think about taking these classes in high school:
  • Math, including Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, and Calculus
  • Physics
  • Computer science
  • Art
  • Electronics

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What are you like?

  • Do you enjoy solving puzzles?
  • Do you like working in groups?
  • Are you creative?
  • Are you interested in helping people travel quickly and safely in vehicles they enjoy?

If you answered yes to these questions, you have many of the skills to be a successful automotive engineer.

Civil Engineer

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What's a Civil Engineer?

All engineers are problem-solvers. Civil engineers solve problems related to buildings, roadways, and water. For example, civil engineers design buildings to stay standing during earthquakes or hurricanes, figure out how to make water safe to drink, and plan transportation systems like airports.

Civil engineers typically earn between $48,000 and $75,000 a year.

What Are You Like?

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Things to Do

  • Test your engineering skills and build a bridge! Visit the community of Craggy Rock!
  • Vist ASCE, which stands for the American Society of Civil Engineers.
  • Find out about all kinds of engineering here.
  • Visit the SodaZoo! Check out other people's creations, and then design your own. If you like racing, you can also choose to race your Soda constructions.
  • Go straight to building your own Soda models.

Books to Read

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Books to Read

Take a look at Those Amazing Engineers.

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People

What is estimating, and why would you want to be an estimator? Joe Kenick III explains why he enjoys this career in engineering.

Environmental Engineer Andrea Boehm loves the ocean. Find out how she combines that love with engineering in her career.

Miguel Rosales is a bridge designer who travels all over the U.S. Read what he has to say about the importance of making bridges attractive as well as strong.

Meet Susan Knack, who repels down buildings to do her job.

More profiles...

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People

What's it like to be an engineering student? Hear about the co-op program from Adam Wood.

Laura Lebiedz is a project manager and talks about why she likes working in the construction industry.

Matthew H. Johnson describes his work as a structural engineer.

Steve got his start in the construction industry when he did maintenance jobs as a teenager. Find out what he recommends for kids today.

Meet Carlos Medina, a civil engineer who works in land development.

In the meanwhile...

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Classes to Take

In addition to the classes you take now, think about taking these courses in high school:

  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Environmental science
  • Math, such as algebra, geometry, pre-calculus/calculus, and trigonometry
  • Technical drawing (drafting and/or computer-aided design)

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What Are You Like?

  • Civil Engineering has many different specialties; people with different skills can all find places in the civil engineering field.
  • Are you organized and a strong leader? If so, you should consider project management as a career goal. You would use your skills to help projects get finished on time and within budget.

Read more!

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What Are You Like?

  • Would you rather be outside than sitting in an office? You should find out about areas like geotechnical engineering or environmental engineering. Both involve field work like collecting water or soil samples, or monitoring air quality.
  • Does design appeal to you? Can you see yourself creating a graceful bridge or an eco-friendly office complex? If so, check out Structural Engineering.

If you answered yes to these questions, you have many of the skills necessary to be a successful civil engineer.

Cryptographer

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What's a Cryptographer?

Literally, "cryptographer" means code-writer. A person working in cryptography might investigate ways to keep information secret, or ways to break the code of messages. You may have heard about cryptographers working for the CIA or the National Security Agency (NSA).

Not all cryptographers work in government or the military. The challenges of keeping e-mail and online payments private means that the computer industry needs people who understand cryptography as well.

A cryptographer with a degree in math can earn between $36,000 and $51,000 a year.

What Are You Like?

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Things to Do

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People

Meet Sarah Flannery. When she was a high school student, she developed a new coding algorithm for a science fair project. There was so much publicity that she and her dad wrote a book about her experience.

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Classes to Take

In addition to the classes you take now, think about taking these courses in high school:

  • As much math as possible, including Probability and Statistics, if your school offers it.
  • Foreign languages

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What Are You Like?

  • Can you keep a secret?
  • Do you love solving puzzles?
  • Are you tenacious -- do you keep trying different things until something works?

If you answered yes to these questions, you have many of the skills to be a successful cryptographer!

Environ Scientist

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What is an Environmental Scientist?

Nearly every industry in the world creates waste products. Environmental scientists try to find ways to minimize and recycle the waste many companies produce. Sometimes, they keep contamination from happening. Other times, they must figure out how to clean it up. Still other times, they may be called upon to find new, cleaner energy sources. Their understanding of biology, chemistry, and physics helps them assess environmental quality and find ways to protect air, water, and land.

Read more...

What are you like?

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Where do Environmental Scientists work?

As an environmental scientist, you might work at a federal agency like the Environmental Protection Agency. You can also work for private consulting firms and laboratories. Corporations which discharge waste hire environmental scientists to monitor discharges and to make sure that environmental laws are obeyed.

An environmental scientist in the US can earn from $30,000 to $80,000.

Some areas of specialization are: ecology and conservation, alternative energy sources, or fisheries science.

What are you like?

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Things to Do

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People

Meet the staff of the Center for Applied Ecology at Northern Kentucky University.

Zachary Payne works for a private consulting firm. Take a look at all the projects he's worked on!

Rebecca Smith is an Australian environmental scientist who works for the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries in Queensland, Australia, advising on environmental and livestock issues.

Peter Zahler is a scientist who studies how decades of war have affected the natural environment in Afghanistan.

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Classes to Take

If you think a career as an environmental scientist sounds like it might be for you, think about taking these classes in high school:

  • Math
  • Physics
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Environmental Science, if your school offers it
  • English courses
  • Computer science, if your school has it.

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Do you think Environmental Sciences might be right for you?

  • Do you love the earth and want to take care of it?
  • Do you like biology and chemistry?
  • Do want to see polluted areas cleaned up again?

If you answered yes, a career as an environmental scientist might be right for you.

Forester

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What's a Forester?

You'll be surprised at how many kinds of jobs there are in forestry. Urban foresters manage trees in cities, and arborists are like "tree doctors." Of course, there are many careers in the forests too! A silviculturist works in forest development and protection. A tree inventory technician determines how much lumber a timber harvest can yield. A timber harvester fells and removes the trees from the forest and a lumber miller cuts the trees into boards. There are also soil scientists, wild land fire managers, park supervisors, and more.

Foresters typically earn between $39,000 and $61,000 a year.

What are you like?

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Things to Do

  • How well do you know trees? Try What Tree is That? for a fun way to find out.
  • Go to the woods and look down. Notice the ground, the soil, and the small animals that live in the soil. Take pictures or bring along a sketchbook so you can record your findings.
  • Use your imagination. If you live near a city or town, look at the number of trees in your neighborhood. What would it be like with more or fewer?
  • Send a friend a free Internet postcard of a really big tree. Or nominate a tree for the National Register of Big Trees.

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People

Learn more about what foresters do.

Meet the Bartlett Tree Service arborists working at the National Arboretum.

Here, David, describes his career as a forester working for a government agency.

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Classes to Take

In addition to the classes you take now, think about taking these courses in high school:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Earth Science
  • Physics
  • Technical writing
  • Math

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What Are You Like ?

  • Do you love the outdoors and the forests?
  • Do you like to plant and grow things?
  • Are you interested in taking care of the earth?

If you answered yes to these questions, a career in forestry may be right for you!

Marine Biologist

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What's a Marine Biologist?

What's at the bottom of the ocean floor? How do organisms survive their watery environments? And what non-native, or "alien" species can invade and disrupt native plant and animal life in a particular body of water? These are the kinds of questions marine biologists ask every day. Marine biology is a large field of science concerned with the study of ocean life. There are many specialities in the field, such as aquaculture, which is the raising of and caring for marine animals.

A marine biologist's average pay is between $35,000 and $40,000 a year.

What Are You Like?

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Things to Do

  • If you live near the ocean, spend some time at the seashore. Look in tide pools to see what kinds of creatures live at the water's edge. Take pictures and show them to your family and friends.
  • Take a walk near a lake, river, or estuary. Look for wormholes and other signs of aquatic life. Record your findings in a journal.
  • Read a field guide! Learn more about the creatures living at the water's edge by reading a Peterson's or the National Audubon Society publication.

More Things to Do...

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More Things to Do

  • Investigate opportunities to learn more about marine science by volunteering, for example, at your local aquarium.
  • Find more marine biology basics by reading what Dr. Jeffrey Levinton, a marine biologist who teaches at Stony Brook University, has to say about the profession.
  • Visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium online.
  • Get your feet wet at a summer camp that focuses on marine biology. For example, check the Acadia Institute of Oceanography in Seal Harbor, Maine. If you're really interested try to qualify for a scholarship.

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People

Professor Jeffrey Levinton, a professor of marine biology at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, New York answers some questions about the profession.

Jorge Gomezjurado, a marine biologist at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland who studies seahorses.

Though not a marine biologist, Knut Langsetmo does biological research.

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Classes to Take

Specialization in oceans doesn't really begin until your later years in college, but getting started early is a great idea. In addition to the classes you take now, think about taking these when you get to high school:

  • Math
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Writing
  • Foreign languages

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What Are You Like?

  • Do you enjoy outdoor activities like hiking? Have you ever wanted to go scuba diving?
  • Do you like meeting people?
  • Do like to build and design things?
  • Do you like to solve problems?

If you answered yes to these questions, you have many of the skills to be a successful marine biologist!

Meterologist

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What's a Meteorologist?

When we hear the word meteorologist, we often think of someone on TV who announces the day's weather. While many weathercasters are professional meteorologists, others are reporters who pass along weather information.

Meteorologists do many things, some of which may surprise you. Besides forecasting, they study the atmosphere and investigate the forces shaping weather and climate. They also try to predict how human activities affect the planet.

Read more...

What Are You Like?

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What's a Meteorologist?

Atmospheric scientists combine these studies with other branches of physical science used to understand our earth's atmosphere.

Where do meteorologists work?

What Are You Like?

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Meteorologists at work:

In the US, the government employs the most meteorologists, particularly at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which includes the National Weather Service. Meteorologists work for the military or other federal agencies such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Department of Energy, and the Department of Agriculture. University meteorologists teach and do atmospheric research. There are also meteorologists who advise industry and private firms.

The average salary for entry-level positions in the atmospheric sciences is about $28,000, while an entry-level weathercaster is about $20,000. Remember, salaries rise as one gains experience.

What Are You Like?

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Things to Do

  • Tune in to the Weather Channel on television.
  • Check out weather Web sites such as Weather Underground and explore all the weather and atmospheric information.
  • What can rain, wind and time do to an island? Read about Sable Island, off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada where winds, waves and isolation have earned it a reputation for shipwrecks.

Read more...

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Things to Do

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People

Meteorologists Steve Maleski and Mark Breen produce daily weather reports from the basement of the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium in St. Johnsbury, Vermont.

Al Peterlin answers questions about his career in meteorology. He used to be the United States Department of Agriculture's Chief Meteorologist.

David Imy talks about his job as a meteorologist for a Storm Prediction Center.

Read more...

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People

Meet Melissa Burt, who's finished her undergraduate work meteorology and is going on to graduate school.

D. Mathew is a graduate student at Pennsylvania State University, where he's starting to get some experience as a meteorologist.

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Classes to Take

If you think a career in meteorology sounds like it might be for you, think about taking these classes in high school:
  • Math
  • Physics
  • Earth science
  • Computer science, if your school has it.

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What Are You Like?

  • Are you curious about the world around wonder why it is the way it is?
  • Are you interested in human affairs?
  • Do you enjoy science and math?
  • Would you like to work with supercomputers, satellites, and other sophisticated research tools?
If you answered yes, you have many of the skills necessary to be a successful meteorologist.

Physicist

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What's a Physicist?

By Joshi

Physicists develop theories about matter and energy, the ‘stuff of everything’. They discover why things work and try to understand the basic laws of the physical world. Often this takes physicists off Planet Earth and into outer space as they try and piece together when and how life on earth began. In the U.S., physicists earn between $52,000 and $81,000 a year.

What are you like?

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Things to Do

Books to Read

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Books to Read

Walk through time Read some theories of how life started on earth in Walk Through Time: From Stardust to Us: The Evolution of Life on Earth by Sidney Liebes, Elisabet Sahtouris, Brian Swimme, Sid Liebes. John Wiley & Sons; (October 1, 1998)
ISBN: 0471317004

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People

Sir Isaac Newton Sir Isaac Newton is known as the man who saw the apple fall from the tree. The story goes that when he saw this, he said to himself, "Now why did that apple fall down?" He was inspired to invent the theory of gravity. He is most famous for his first three laws of physics.

Darren Willams is a modern day physicist whose interest in physics and meteorology landed him a job at Penn State University.

Neil deGrasse Tyson is an astrophysicist, that is, someone who looks at the behavior and properties of objects in space.

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Classes to Take

In addition to the classes you take now, think about taking these courses in high school:

  • Math
  • Science
  • English
  • Technology

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What Are You Like?

  • Do you enjoy math and science?
  • Do you love to build all sorts of things?
  • Do you ever wonder about things like why the moon floats away from the earth or how mirrors work?

If you answered yes to these questions, you have many of the skills to be a successful physicist.

Plasma Physicist

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What's a Plasma Physicist?

People around the world need energy to power their cars, television sets, and radios. But where does all that energy come from? As a plasma physicist you'll work to find new energy sources to help power our world.

For example, special plasma rings called spheromaks can help produce a clean source of sustainable energy.

What are you like?

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Things to Do

  • Play liquid crystals to get a sense of how liquid crystals in real life move around in different patterns depending on what crystal phase they are in.
  • Try Crystallite another game that introduces liquid crystal patterns.
  • Read an excerpt from The Fusion Quest by Kenneth T. Fowler. Note: Follow this link. Click Go, then click the first item on the list (Fusion Quest). On the left side of your screen, click First Chapter Excerpts. You can read a few paragraphs and decide whether you want to get the book from your local library.

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People

Willard Harrison Bennett was a pioneer in the field. Though he died in 1987, he invented the radio frequency mass spectrometer, a device critical to measuring the mass of atoms.

Meet Dr. Claire Max. She's a professor of Astrophysics and studied plasma physics as a graduate student.

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Classes to Take

If you think a career as an plasma physicist sounds like it might be for you, think about taking these classes in high school:

  • Math
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • English

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Do you think Plasma Physics might be right for you?

  • Do you wonder how or why things work?
  • Are you curious about what the universe and other objects are made of?
  • Do you like puzzles?

If you answered yes, a career as an Plasma Physics might be right for you.

Private Investigator

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What do Private Investigators do?

Private investigators (or PIs) find out information about people and organizations. They are information g atherers. Even though this job is quite different than what you see on TV or in movies, it can still be dangerous and exciting. When yo're starting out, you often work alone and at irregular hours. Some of the work can involve confrontation, so the job can be stressful and dangerous.

The average pay for a private investigator is between $20,000-$40,000 a year.

Read More...

What Are You Like?

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Investigators:

  • Conduct surveillance
  • Perform background checks
  • Perform computer searches
  • Conduct interviews
  • Do client consultations
  • Write reports
  • Plan and engage in security for corporations, stores, and hotels
  • Offer body guard services

Read how an investigator can specialize...

What Are You Like?

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A private investigator can specialize. Here are some of the ways:

Intellectual property theft investigators. "Intellectual Property" means information or ideas that a person or company owns legal rights to. Investigators of this type gather information for court cases concerning patent and copyright violations.

Financial investigators gather financial information on the people or firms they are investigating.

Read more...

What Are You Like?

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Legal investigators help prepare criminal defenses, locating witnesses, serving legal documents, interviewing police and prospective witnesses, and gathering and reviewing evidence. They usually work for law firms.

Corporate investigators conduct investigations for private corporations, both inside their own company as well as other companies.

What Are You Like?

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Things to Do

  • Fingerprint your friends.
  • Solve puzzles; be persistent. For example, if your school is like most, there's probably a book or two missing from the library. Ask your librarian whether you can help find it--when was it last checked out and by whom?
  • Pay attention to what goes on around you.
  • Be curious and seek answers to your questions.
  • Help other people get answers to their questions.

and check out these Web sites:

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Things to Do

  • The state of Virginia has compiled this description of private investigation and the kinds of things you can do.
  • Did you know that there is a sculpture covered in code on CIA grounds? CIA employees have cracked parts of the message, but not all of it. Try it.
  • Try finding hidden treasure. As you travel through an old castle, use your decoding skills to solve the mystery.
  • Find out why Secret Service agents always wear sunglasses and whether the Secret Service will send you a pair.

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People

Meet Ira Winkler, corporate espionage expert and cybersleuth.

Sharon Patterson who became a PI after some years of police work.

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Classes to Take

There are no formal education requirements for most private detective and investigator jobs, although most private investigators have college degrees. Many investigators enter the field after serving in military, government intelligence, or law enforcement jobs.

In addition to the courses you take now, consider these kinds of classes in high school:

Read more about classes to take

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Classes to take

In addition to the classes you take now, think about taking these courses in high school:

  • Business, like accounting and principles of management
  • Computer courses--learn as many applications as you can
  • As much math as you can
  • Political science and government
  • English
  • Communications
  • Modern History

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What Are You Like?

  • Do you like to solve puzzles?
  • Are you persistent?
  • Are you assertive?
  • Do you have a natural curiosity about people?
  • Do you enjoy working on your own?

If you answered yes to these questions, you have many of the skills to be a successful private investigator!

Trade Specialist

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What's an International Trade Specialist?

Have you ever wondered about where all the products you buy come from? Chances are at least one of the things you're wearing was not made in the city where you live or maybe even the same country. How did it get to you? Probably an international trade specialist had something to do with it. International trade specialists import (bring products into a country) and export (sell products in other countries) things. In the United States, we get items from all over the world, including China, Canada, and Mexico. Traveling the world over is just one of the benefits of the job.
Read more on Trade Specialists...

What Are You Like?

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What's an International Trade Specialist?

Importers deal with foreign governments, customs, and shipping. Their job is to figure out what items are likely to be "hot" in their home country, then negotiate good prices to get them there. Often, they go on "shopping" trips in search of the things people may want to buy. Some trade specialists are employed by big companies such as Nike and Dell Computer. Others are self-employed. Salaries depend on experience and other specifics but begin at $60,000 to $80,000.

More on Trade Specialists...

What Are You Like?

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What's an International Trade Specialist?

Exporters do the following:

  • Research who will buy a product
  • Contact foreign companies
  • Negotiate with foreign governments
  • Prepare the goods to be shipped overseas
  • Deal with customs and the rules and regulations of another country

What Are You Like?

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Things to Do

  • Test your problem-solving skills by trying a few brain teasers.
  • Visit Dr. Gee's lab to compare nets with solids--a challenge you will face when deciding what cargo can be shipped and how.
  • Play with words! Try some of the word games at Merriam-Webster Online.
  • Read everything you can about other cultures and places. Keep up with current events so you can learn about what's going on in the world. Get travel guides from the library or surf the Web for exotic places you might like to go.

More things to do...

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More Things to Do

  • Host a foreign exchange student or think about becoming one yourself when you're old enough.
  • Try different types of cuisine. If you usually have chocolate for dessert, try something different. For example, in Thailand, they eat Glouy Buadshe, a banana with sugar and coconut milk.
  • Check export.gov and the World Trade Organization Web site to get an idea of the kinds of things you might do.

Books to Read

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Books to Read

Try thumbing through one of these:

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People

Meet Susan Gravely. Her first job was wrapping presents in a clothing store. Now she's president of an Italian dinnerware and accessories import company.

Shirley Young is President of Shirley Young Associates, LLC, a business advisory company for companies interested in business development in China. She left China when she was 2 and thought she wanted to be a diplomat. In way, with her job she is.

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Classes to Take

In addition to the courses you take now, think about taking these kinds of classes in high school:
  • Foreign languages
  • Math and accounting, if it's available
  • Writing

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What Are You Like?

  • Do you have good business sense, like an eye for a product that will sell?
  • Do you communicate well or know more than one language?
  • Are you interested in other countries? The more you know about the countries and the cultures with which you'll do business, the more successful you'll be.

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What Are You Like?

  • Do you like knowing about legal issues, such as legal business practices?
  • Do you like to solve problems? Things don't always go the way they're planned; oceans, equipment, language barriers, and political events can upset the best of plans. When things turn sour, tact and inventiveness are useful skills to have.

If you answered yes to these questions, you have many of the skills to be a successful international trade specialist!

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Updated: December 5, 2008