Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens this week in theaters nationwide. We’re asking SWE members to tell us why they love the film series and what SciFi means to them.
Sarah Roth is a Pathways Intern for the Balloon Program Office at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. She is completing her master’s in chemical engineering at the University of Akron. Before starting her new career in engineering, she studied music education, worked as a band director for a local public school (grades 5-12) and served in the U.S. Navy.
Why do you like Star Wars and science fiction?
I’m drawn in by escapism. I love fantasy because there are so many details in which you can immerse yourself, and then just forget about the stresses in your everyday life. What I find most fascinating about science fiction is how quickly certain aspects become science fact. Star Trek is a prime example of this. The computer and communication systems have been developed such as cell phones, flat screens, and touch screens. SIRI and Cortana will talk to us and retrieve information. Star Wars has some of the principal story lines behind any classic hero tale and that appeals to many people no matter their background. On a less serious note, it’s just freaking cool… light sabers, spaceships, the Force!
What has it meant to your career?
I am still early in my career but there are two things that jump out to me right away: desire to reach for something seemingly impossible and a very active imagination. The creativity generated by my love for fantasy and sci-fi have helped me approach problems in a new way and find solutions that are somewhat out of the box.
How did science fiction inspire you?
Star Trek was a bigger inspiration because I loved the idea of the Earth someday having a fleet of spaceships to go explore the corners of our galaxy. On that same note, I loved watching SeaQuest because I think we need to finish exploring the corners of our very own planet, 95% of the ocean floor is still un-mapped. I have a love for the sea that matches my love for the sky. These shows fuel my desire to explore.
We want to see your Star Wars experience on SWE’s social media channels! Share your best Star Wars costume or scenes from a Star Wars-themed party you’re attending. Or tell us how science fiction inspired your career in STEM. Use the hashtag #TheSWEForceAwakens – Tweet @SWEtalk, post a picture to Instagram or shout us out on Facebook.