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Sigal Tifferet

Senior Lecturer, Ruppin Academic Center

TEDCRED 500+

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How can a talented teenager prepare himself for a scientific career? What do you scientists recommend? (Personal experiences, please).

My son is 16 years old and is very interested in science (Physics, Biology, Math). He would like to hear your recommendations on how to prepare for a scientific career. Is this a critical period to learn things that will be difficult to learn later? Are there non-academic experiences he should try? We are especially interested in personal experiences of all of you scientists out there.

Let me add that my son (Alon) is the one who nudged me a few times to post this question. He studies at a democratic school, meaning that he has full freedom to do whatever he pleases with his time at school. A big portion of his choices are science-related, but he does other things as well (basketball, juggling).

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    May 31 2011: The only real advice to prepare him for a scientific career is to find an area that he is deeply interested in and cares about on a personal level. There is no way of knowing what research and investigation in a given area will uncover, and often the returns are underwhelming. Being passionate about something inspires persistence, and brings its own rewards.

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