My advice is to find somebody who has the same interests that you have, and who seeks excellence in all that they do. Choose someone who can pass those interests on to you and teach you the skills/discipline/fun of doing things well. My parents and grandparents filled these roles for me. They were passionate about the idea of "if you were going to do something, then do it right." My grandfathers had a passion for working on mechanical things and those skills they had were like magic to me. I wanted to learn to do what they could do. They also did an excellent job and by observing their habit of excellence, I came to expect a lot from myself whenever I do something. Young people should also find a mentor that can pass on to them an understanding of why things are important and why they are relevant to everyday life. At the same time, make sure you have fun doing what interests you. For instance, if you love music or acting, you can learn mechanical engineering and/or physics and then apply them to make better instruments or devices for sets. The same thing applies to people that love cars, robots, airplanes, medicine, woodworking, and sports. You can use mechanical engineering, math, and physics to make useful contributions in these areas and have great fun at the same time.
Would you want any of our readers (teachers/students) to contact you at your lab or by e-mail?
My lab's Web site is http://pcsl.mit.edu
E-mail ([email protected]) is OK, but I can't guarantee a response due to the fact that I receive about 100-200 non-spam e-mails per day that I have to respond to.
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