5 Techy Pastimes That Expand Your Scientific Knowledge

December 29, 2014

For those seeking a hobby or pastime with a purpose, those that broaden a person’s scientific knowledge can be especially rewarding. If golf or video gaming is not someone’s cup of tea, there are a number of pastimes available that educate as well as entertain. Several are listed below.

To get the full educational value when engaging in pastime pursuits, apply the scientific method. The common elements of the scientific method are:

  • Scientific purpose – stating the question to be investigated;
  • Background – basic research on the question asked and obtaining a working knowledge of the area of science;
  • Hypothesis – a prediction of the outcome;
  • Experiment – putting the hypothesis to the test and developing a test procedure;
  • Observation and data analysis – recording the results of the experiment, and analyzing the results and reaching a conclusion.

There are some techy pastimes that can be fun and allow the hobbyist to learn more about the world around them.

Botany/Gardening

Those this pastime doesn’t sound “techy”, it can be if a person takes a scientific approach to it. Hybridization of plants to achieve a superior strain of fruit, vegetable or flower has been around for thousands of years, and remains popular today. Through cross pollen or hybridizing techniques, a hobbyist may have a new plant.

Or, merely experimenting with various growing techniques can lead to larger, healthier and more robust plants. Using a microscope to analyze leaves stems and seeds, and noting changes when cross breeding or different growing techniques can greatly aid the hobbyist.

Microscopy

Using a microscope as a past time was once a very popular pastime and is making a comeback for hobbyists. An entire new world opens up to the observer when viewing ordinary items under a microscope.

Modern microscopes from http://www.microscope.com/ are perfect for the hobbyist as they have a wide variety of features from LED lighting, cushioned eyepieces, stereoscopic to trinocular viewing models. Many hobbyist microscopes are reasonably priced, especially in relation to other past times.

Astronomy

Amateur Astronomy opens up a number of scientific disciplines to the hobbyist. Physics, mathematics, trigonometry and chemistry are all a part of astronomy. Telescopes can now be connected to a computer to record images.

Many reasonably priced telescopes now contain computer programming that stores many commonly viewed celestial objects, and can pinpoint them with the push of a button. If a hobbyist is seeking notoriety, many comets and asteroids have been discovered by amateur astronomers.

Rocketry

Ad Astera per Aspera “To the stars through difficulty”. Well, the hobbyist probably won’t reach the stars with a model rocket, but can have fun and develop knowledge of a number of scientific disciplines.

Propulsion, physics, aerodynamics and mathematics through becoming a model rocket enthusiast. Experimenting with various fuels, rocket sizes and shapes, fin designs and nose cones can allow the hobbyist a working knowledge of “rocket science”. Many areas have model rocket clubs for the beginner to join and learn.

Computers

The field of computers is a science to itself and many people have developed a great deal of knowledge through the study. It normally involves two areas: hardware components and programming.

Hardware involves the physical workings of the computer, from the silicon processing chips to magnetic and optical hard drives, to the vast variety of electrical connections. Programming is the code that allows the user to perform tasks on the machine.

Using either, or both areas for increasing one’s knowledge, can be personally satisfying. Choosing a hobby to improve one’s knowledge of the world around them can make for a more intelligent, happier human being.