Scientists have many opportunities to share their knowledge and experience outside of the classroom. Through my efforts at schools, online interactions, and informal science education activities, I have seen firsthand that these interactions benefit everyone involved. For scientists, outreach hones communication skills and places their research in a broader context. For audiences, these activities spark curiosity and inspire new ways of thinking as participants learn more about their world. Most importantly, outreach offers a rare opportunity to meet and interact with "real" scientists. When I began leading activities about my research as a Science Communication Fellow at the Pacific Science Center, I quickly discovered that I was the real exhibit. People of all ages are extremely interested in how one becomes a scientist, and are curious what our lives are like. Particularly for underrepresented populations, these interactions are essential for inspiring young people and helping them to envision a future in STEM fields.

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