Video: Kids, you are just like scientists!
[Logo: National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian]
[Black and white image of a light-skinned man in a white shirt in a laboratory setting, leaning toward a counter with a large, strange apparatus on it. The man is looking through a small, metal tube in the middle of the apparatus.]
Did you ever get the feeling that scientists were just born to do science?
[Black and white image of two people in a room with high ceilings, a laboratory table with three Bunsen burners on it. There are flasks on the burners and behind the table are shelves of bottles with liquids of different shades in them.]
Well, you might be surprised that scientists are just like you and they don't all work in laboratories, mixing chemicals.
[Color image of a person and a small dog on a leash, standing on a concrete path in a grassy area in front of a mountain with a waterfall cascading down it. There are green trees at the end of the path an on the mountain.]
Scientists at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History study everything around us from the deepest depths of the ocean to the farthest reaches of our solar system.
[Color image of the taxidermy elephant in the rotunda of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Image fades into one of sea fans on the ocean floor, which then fades into an image that looks like a circular view of multi-colored kaleidoscope or stained glass, but which is actually a very thin section of a meteorite seen under a microscope.]
And these scientists were kids once too, just like you.
[Color image of two medium-dark-skinned children touching a tan, spongy material set up on a table.]
And according to them, kids like you are already scientists in training. When you make observations about the world around you, ask questions, and then try to answer those questions, you are practicing science.
[Many images shown briefly, one after the other, of boys and girls of various ages looking through microscopes, looking at museum specimens such as fossils, creating crafts, writing, holding specimens, looking at exhibit cases, looking through binoculars, and more.]
A couple of scientists from the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History wanted to tell you that you are more like a scientist than you may think. And if you keep practicing, you could be a scientist too.
[Text: How are kids already doing science?]
[A woman appears on screen. She has long, dark hair and medium-light skin, is wearing a white open-shouldered shirt, and is sitting in front of a blanket or wall hanging that has a pattern of horizontal stripes: thin ones in groups of white, pink, orange, purple, and dark blue, alternating with wide white ones.]
When I was a kid, I collected rocks and minerals. I would organize them, I would take very detailed notes about where I'd collected them from. And of course, I would ask a lot of questions about them. Now, little did I know, but this would be the foundation from my career as a scientist.
[Color image of Gabriela as a young child, kneeling in a rocky landscape. Then back to her speaking in front of the wall hanging.]
[Image changes to video of a light-skinned man with brown hair, beard and mustache, and a blue shirt, standing in front of a tree. He starts speaking.]
Really, anyone who has ever thought, how did this get here? Or, how old is that? Or, I wonder what would happen if? Is already thinking like a scientist.
[Color image of a young boy, walking on rocks across a stream, his arms help up for balance. New color image of a young boy and a man next to what could be wooden sorting boxes. They are looking at something small the boy has in his hand.]
As a kid, I was captivated by the fossils I would find in my driveway. I lived nowhere near the beach, and yet I could explore entire ecosystems of past ocean life right outside my front door, as long as the car wasn't parked on top of them.
[Back to video of Scott Evans speaking with a tree in the background.]
I had no idea that the things I was doing to explore these ancient creatures ...
[Color image of a herringbone-patterned fossil in a brownish-reddish rock.]
... from trying to find as many different kinds as I could ...
[Back to video of Scott Evans speaking with a tree in the background.]
... to figuring out where else those same fossils could be found, were the same skills I would use in my job every day.
[Video of a medium-skinned man with short black hair and glasses, and a dark blue short-sleeved shirt, sitting in front of tan-colored fencing with a latticework border on top. He starts speaking.]
You may not realize it, but a lot of the skills I use as a paleontologist are actually probably skills that you've already practiced yourselves.
[Color image of Karma, wearing a helmet and carrying a backpack, standing next to a jagged rock face, with a gray, rocky mountain peak in the background.]
And the most basic and best example of that is just starting to make observations of the natural world around you.
[Back to Karma sitting in front of the tan fence. He gestures with his hands as he speaks.]
So, if you've ever done something like listen to a bird song, wonder to yourself what type of bird is that, and then try to figure it out. Or if you've done the things like, I don't know, maybe even look at ants or something in the park and notice how they're carrying food back to their colonies or how they're building the colonies with the other ants, then you've already practiced a lot of the basic natural history observation skills that I use every day.
One thing that's important to remember is that there's all sorts of different types of scientist you can be. And so you need all sorts of different types of skills. Things like art can be helpful. Things like leadership, cooperation, some of these traits that you don't normally think of are actually incredibly useful for science.
[Video of a medium-light-skinned woman with dark hair pulled back behind her head, glasses, and a white sleeveless top. There is a piece of equipment like a microscope behind her, against a bare, cream-colored wall. She starts talking.]
I've always been fascinated by the natural world and as a child enjoyed spending days at a time outside ...
[Image of Vera as a small child, in a blue t-shirt, holding a white flower out toward the camera.]
... picking up rocks and flowers and wondering how they formed and grew.
[Cut back to Vera talking in front of the cream-colored wall.]
As a scientist, I still pick up rocks, this time though containing fossil plants, and ask the same questions I did as a child, including how and why they formed.
[Video of a medium-skinned man with short, dark hair and a light blue t-shirt with an illustration of a saber-toothed cat on it. There is a bookshelf next to him and one behind him. He speaks.]
One of my favorite things about kids is that they're so curious. They're always asking questions. And do you know what's so great about that? Is that they're starting to think like scientists. Scientists like me ask questions all day every day and kids do this too. When I was a kid, I would collect rocks and fossils and shells, and I would start to classify them and group them up because I was curious about what these little things were and how they fit together in the larger picture of life. And I do this kind of work every single day as a paleontologist.
[Text: What three words describe you as a scientist?]
Three words I would use to describe myself, include curious.
If you're a scientist, then you're always curious about the natural world. You are passionate about solving these questions and you come with lots of creative solutions for the problems that you want to solve.
[Text: I'm a scientist, you can be one, too.]
[Video of Vera sitting in front of the cream-colored wall.]
You can be a paleontologist and discover ...
[Color image of Vera sitting in a dry, rocky landscape wearing a wide-brimmed beige field hat sunglasses, long-sleeve shirt and long pants, holding a tiny fossil in her hand towards the camera.]
... how the Earth's climate and flora has evolved through time just like me.
[Video of Scott standing in front of a tree.]
You can be a paleontologist just like me and search for ...
[Color image of a round and an oval fossil in a reddish rock. The fossils have a pattern of lots of furrows or ridges radiating out from their centers.]
... some of the oldest and weirdest animals ever to have lived on Earth.
[Video of Karma sitting in front of the tan fence.]
So, you can be a paleontologist like me and discover ancient marine life.
[Video of Gabriela sitting in front of the striped blanket.]
You can be a mineralogist or a geologist ...
[Color image of Gabriela standing in a lab next to a piece of equipment that is in its own cabinet.]
... and learn new about minerals and gemstones, just like me.
[Cut to Advait standing by the bookshelves.]
You can be a paleontologist just like me and discover animals like fossil elephants. If you just keep asking questions and making observations, these are the basic skills that scientists use every single day. And if you're using them, you're thinking like a scientist right now.
[Text: Start your science journey today. Naturalhistory.si.edu. National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian.]
End of video.