My Passion for Science

Adam Zhang
Show Some STEMpathy
4 min readJul 22, 2018


To be honest, science was something I never really enjoyed as a kid or even as a young teen. Science was just another subject at school — another boring topic. Back then, I’d much rather talk about video games and…well, that’s pretty much it actually. I didn’t understand how or why anyone would want to do this “science” thing for the rest of their life.

To put it simply, science remained a mystery to me, in the sense that I simply could not form any positive connections with it. And, to a certain degree, this mentality has not changed. For some of my science-related classes in high school, I frankly lack any sense of interest or passion. So, you’re probably wondering why I titled this “My Passion for Science” when I’m describing precisely why I don’t like it. Let me explain.

My actual passion for science began with a little something called science fair. This club is revered as one of the most popular and successful clubs (popular because all the nerds attend) at my high school; each year, at least 50 students participate. Our school, Methacton High School, has always done well at the local science fairs and usually brings home some big awards each year. So, it makes sense that this success would naturally attract those seeking success like me.

The local Montgomery County Science Research Competition (PA) at Ursinus College (Image Credit: Methacton Science Fair Team).

However, this “success” often comes in the form of resume building. I know for a fact that some of the students in our club just participate to put it on their CV. While this is definitely not a bad thing and probably all of us are guilty of it at a certain point in our high school career (my initial reasons for joining the club were the same), over time, I learned to actually really, really, really enjoy this science thing. And I can only thank my bible study teacher and mentor, Dr. Su.

Dr. Su helped transform my life for the better — not only in a spiritual/mental way, but she also molded me into the young scientist that I am today. Oftentimes, people think that science and religion clash, and that it’s impossible for both to exist simultaneously. I’ve witnessed this conflict at its most fundamental level, whether it be at school learning about evolution or even talking with friends. However, over time, with the guidance of those like Dr. Su, I believe that reality presents us with a world that CAN invite the coexistence of both science and religion; this epiphany came with time, experience, and really digging into the details of both!

Me thinking about the “deep” stuff at Banff, Canada.

In fact, this kind of “deep” thinking was the very impetus for my passion for science! This curiosity and desire to explore the implications of science pushed me to completely immerse myself in it. Thus, after reaching out and landing a spot at Dr. Su’s lab, my love for science soared. I was exposed to various machines and techniques related to genetics, like polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and gel electrophoresis. With this, I started my journey researching hepatocellular carcinoma, one of the primary forms of liver cancer, and using urine as a unique screening method. I thought: Wow! I’m researching ways to fight cancer, one of the deadliest diseases of the genome; imagine how much our efforts could help others! And because of this very fact — the fact that our efforts may actually help the lives of others — I can’t turn away from medicine and biological sciences. For me, a chance to help others is a chance that should always be taken! :D

My partner, Jonathan Cheng (left), and me (right) standing next to our science fair poster.

— Adam Z., Pennsylvania


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