On March 10th, 2018, I, along with many other students from various schools in Korea ranging from middle schoolers to college students, were chosen to be volunteers for the Gwacheon National Science Museum. On this day, the museum managers went over main duty of volunteers at the museum, how people need comprehend science more realistically, and how people should be encouraged to help other members of the society.
As the session started, an official came up to the stage and told volunteers about the limits of science and our society’s dependence on it, by telling us his life story. He told is of a specific classification of people who were a hybrid of those who study literature, history and such, and people who pursued STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) careers. To further support this theory, he claimed to be one of those people and was like a “platypus.” He further stated his beliefs by debunking an ideology that many children believed in: Anything is possible in science. He told us that in order for humanity to pursue science, they must know the “limits” to science. For instance, he said that we needed to accept that fact that there is nothing faster than light and no temperature lower than negative 273 degrees. He asserted that many of the dreams children had from sci-fi movies and novels were theoretically false and that that “we had to think realistically when it came to science.” His speech conveyed the advocation of realistic science, and it seemed as if this was one of the main messages the museum wanted to express to us.
|[All the voluntary workers pose for a picture, taken by Matthew Choi’s parent]|
The other main message was delivered by another official, who was an authority on voluntary works, told us about the crucial importance of it. This was not only due to how it was beneficial for our college applications, but also because of how it was a way to help the elderly, and the handicapped in our society. He proclaimed that, “as a realist, I came to an understanding that, especially in Korea, where the birth rates are declining and where the elderly population is rising, that the next generation should help their seniors.” He also humorously stated, “No, this does not mean that I advocate Korea to maintain its population. But a good way for the people to understand what is at stake may be to help them out in the first place. Furthermore, it would be far more impacting, if people *please* stop using their phones while in the middle of voluntary programs.”
|[Picture of myself, taken by Matthew Choi’s parent]|
By the end of the opening ceremony, after the two speeches made by the officials and the photos, I reflected upon the words of those men and determined that people, especially voluntary workers, should be responsible in doing their job, guiding people throughout the museum, in this occasion. My specific job, would not only be to help people throughout the museum, but also spread the message the museum is trying to offer, which is “There are limits to science, but we will work to our fullest to push science to the limit.”
Asia Pacific International School
Matthew Choi firstname.lastname@example.org
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